t is currently illegal to carry a firearm into the Platte County Administration Building. A sign at the building’s entrance clearly marks the policy that is backed up by a county ordinance.
The Platte County Commission is studying the possibility of changing that. The process is in the fact-gathering stage.
John Elliott, second district, said Monday he wants to gather information and input to begin discussion on allowing legal carry–including both open carry and concealed carry–of firearms into the county administrative complex and certain other county-owned buidings.
The Platte County Administration Building is located behind the Platte County Courthouse in downtown Platte City.
Elliott said Sunday’s most recent mass shooting, which took place at a church in south Texas, prompted him to open the topic up for discussion.
“We’ll want to visit with the sheriff and the prosecutor to find out what rules are, what you can do and what you can’t do. We’ll get all the information and have it all in front of us to figure out what the plan is going to be,” Elliott said.
“We’re not going to be able to (prevent) what happened yesterday,” he said, referring to a shooting the type of what happened in Texas, which left more than two dozen people dead. “We’re only going to be able to stop it after it starts.”
Elliott mentioned the proposal in his comments at the end of Monday’s regular county commission session, and then brought the matter up to a group of fellow elected officials who serve on the Platte County Salary Commission after the salary commission meeting had adjourned. The two other commissioners left the room prior to Elliott’s talk with the other officeholders, since a discussion had not been posted as a meeting on the commission’s schedule.
He asked the officeholders to put some thought into the idea and pass along any opinions or recommendations to the commissioners.
“Society is only getting more hostile. People are only getting crazier and braver. Even if we could have a deputy at every door at every public meeting, and every door at every church and every school, that’s not going to stop it,” Elliott said.
Sheriff Mark Owen said he would do some in-depth research to help with options available to the commission.
“I’m not for or against it. I’ve always been supportive of the Second Amendment. I just want to be sure we’re right with what it is we want to do,” the sheriff added.
“And unfortunately it’s (the mass tragedies) not just firearms anymore, either. It’s rental trucks, and overseas machetes and knives. Suspects have used what’s available to them to get in around the security measures,” Owen remarked.
The sheriff pointed out officeholders will want to consider whether they want to allow their staff members to carry a gun.
The sheriff pointed out if open carry is allowed in the administration building it still would be prohibited in the adjoining courthouse. Authorities would need to make it clear to members of the public who carry a firearm into the administration building that the weapon is still not allowed in the courthouse if they are headed to that building to pay a fine or conduct other business.