The Kansan - Newton, KS
  • County creates conceal/carry rules for employees

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  • If county employees wish to carry a gun with them at work, they can but there is now a couple of hoops for them to jump through before packing heat at the office.
    "They must keep the weapon on their person at all times, and declare to human resources which would share that confidentially with managers," said assistant county administrator Anthony Swartzendruber Monday at a meeting of county commissioners.
    Commissioners approved a change to county policy 6.16 in the employee manual the policy on workplace violence/weapons/concealed carry.
    Under the policy, non-law enforcement or security personnel will be able to carry a gun with them if they have a conceal and carry permit from the state. A copy of their permit must be on file with human resources, part of the employee's sealed personnel file.
    Once that is given, the employee's manager is notified the employee is certified and has announced their intention to carry a weapon with them.
    While on the job, guns must be on the employee's person meaning it cannot be stored in a drawer or bag close by.
    "Not in a purse, not in a desk drawer, it must be on you," Swartzendruber said.
    The commission reviewed three proposed policies at a previous meeting this was the most restrictive of the three.
    In addition to required notification of human resources, the policy prohibits weapons in non law enforcement vehicles or county equipment. If a courthouse worker is driving a county vehicle, their gun may be stored in their private vehicle. It cannot be stored inside the courthouse.
    Commissioner Randy Hague said Monday he supports the policy but expects there will be a legal challenge to it.
    "I am curious about what the attorney general will say to the notification of human resources," said county counsel Greg Nye. "But we will find out."
    The attorney general's office is expected to render an opinion based on policies requiring employees to tell employers they are carrying a gun with them at work.
    In other business the commission:
    Approved a conditional use permit for Rojean and Paul DuBois to operate a retreat center for small groups at 6520 S. Kansas Road.
    Approved the cancellation of $248.48 in uncashed checks issued in 2011.
    Approved an agreement for the use of Harvey County West Park by the Boy Scouts of America for the annual Trappers Rendezvous in January of 2014.
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