Starting Jan. 1, Prairie Village will have to allow concealed weapons in municipal court

Prairie Village will be changing the signage on its doors that current prohibit concealed carry.
Prairie Village will be changing the signage on its doors that current prohibit concealed carry.

The rules on whether people can bring weapons into Prairie Village City Hall will change Jan. 1, 2018, in accordance with a state law passed in 2013.

The law, HB 2052, requires municipalities to allow people to bring concealed weapons into city buildings unless those buildings have a secured entry point where people are screened for weapons before entering.

Prairie Village was among the northeast Johnson County cities that applied for a four-year waiver from that requirement back in early 2014. But that exemption expires at the end of this month.

“The ability for our city to restrict the concealed carry of firearms in public buildings ends December 31,” City Administrator Wes Jordan told the Prairie Village City Council last week.

The city will, however, continue to ban people from openly carrying weapons in city hall. The city will be updating the signage on the windows by its doors to note the new policy in the coming weeks.

When it passed in 2013, the law caused particular concern for some officials in Prairie Village, where city offices, court operations and governing body meetings all take place in the same facility. Some members of the council were uncomfortable with the idea of letting people bring weapons into a room where court proceedings were under way. But at a cost of several hundred thousand dollars, the option of providing a secured entry point to the Prairie Village municipal building proved too expensive.

Other area cities won’t face the prospect of having the municipal courts open to concealed weapons. Shawnee, for example, is going to install security equipment at its courthouse, but will allow concealed carry on all other municipal property. In July, Overland Park began allowing concealed carry in city buildings aside from the W. Jack Sanders Justice Center. The Sanders Justice Center, at 12400 Foster in southern Overland Park, houses the municipal court operations, and is already equipped with a secured entry point that exempts it from the state’s concealed carry law. Open carry is still not allowed in any Overland Park municipal building.

For other NEJC cities, though, HB 2052’s Dec. 31 deadline will have no impact at all. Merriam’s city ordinances, for example,  already permit both the concealed and open carrying of weapons in city buildings.