A central Kansas sheriff said he will seek a four-year exemption from a state law that allows concealed carry permit holders to bring their guns into county buildings, regardless of whether county officials agree with the move.
At a study session Tuesday, Saline County Sheriff Glen Kochanowski told county commissioners he will seek the exemption when the time is right, and they don't have to like it, the Salina Journal reported.
"You deal with, on a little basis, people that are angry," Kochanowski said. "We deal with people all the time with anger issues. I owe it to my employees and the people coming in to make that facility as safe as I can while they are there."
The Kansas Legislature passed a law last session requiring governmental entities to allow permit holders to carry their concealed guns into a building unless it is protected with metal detectors and guards. Entities could get a six-month exemption and later seek a four-year exemption.
Saline County commissioners didn't seek the four-year exemption for county buildings, and the six-month exemption ends Jan. 1.
Commission chairman Randy Duncan said he was opposed to banning concealed weapons in the sheriff's office.
"You may not have a problem with it, but I do," Kochanowski said. "You (Duncan) have got absolutely no experience in law enforcement ... I have 48 years. I know what I am talking about when dealing with people."
Commissioner Jim Gile said Kochanowski wants the same four-year exemption the Saline County-Salina Building Authority approved last week for the City-County Building. Gile and Commissioner John Price voted in favor of that exemption.
"What are you afraid of?" Duncan asked Kochanowski. "What are you afraid of from a concealed carry person?"
The sheriff responded that people with anger issues frequently come into the law enforcement center, including friends of felons who have short fuses.
"You have never been around good people who get angry," the sheriff said. "Good people kill people when they get mad. They don't intend to or mean to, but they do."
Duncan responded that not everybody who gets mad shoots someone.
Kochanowski said he is afraid an innocent person could be shot by deputies if he or she has a gun out in the wrong place at the wrong time. If a person pulls a gun in his office, the sheriff said he isn't going to ask if they have a permit.
"I'm not going to say, 'Are you a concealed carry good guy?'" he said. "They are going to drop the gun or die. It is that simple. That is the way we are training nationwide."