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New signs popping up on Neosho County official offices - KOAM TV 7

New signs popping up on Neosho County official offices

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The state of Kansas is now allowing concealed and carry weapons to be brought into government buildings but some counties are saying no way.

Counties are eligible for an exemption of the new law if they detail a security plan when applying.

The law went into effect on Monday, allowing anyone with a concealed and carry permit may enter Kansas public buildings with a firearm.

A lot of counties seeking exemptions will have to come up with funding to pay for security upgrades.

"July 1st marked a change in Kansas - a new gun law went into effect that allows citizens with concealed carry permits to enter all government buildings," says Kansas state senator Forrest Knox.  "When law abiding citizens have guns, they have a means to protect themselves and stop crime and that's been shown all over."

Counties were able to submit a letter of exemption to the Kansas Attorney General's office, stating their proposed security plan, but it will come with a cost.

"The $50,000 is roughly an idea of what it would cost per year," says Neosho County Commissioner Mike Schoenhofer.

Neosho County applied for an exemption for its 15 county-owned buildings, including the county courthouse in Erie and the judicial center in Chanute.  The courthouse alone has seven or so entrances.  The addition of metal detectors and guards will come at a cost, but county officials believe the extra security precautions will help keep residents safe in buildings that ban guns.

"Your law abiding citizens, they obey it, it's the ones that don't - your others that won't abide by the law you're going to end up having to have some sort of security needed," says Commissioner Schoenhofer.

Neosho County has until January 1 to initiate a security plan for the county buildings.  Nothing has been decided yet but the security plans the county is considering include adding metal detectors and additional security guards around the buildings.

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