Lee County considers banning guns from government buildings - WGEM.com: Quincy News, Weather, Sports, and Radio

Lee County considers banning guns from government buildings

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South Lee County courthouse in Keokuk. South Lee County courthouse in Keokuk.
North Lee County Courthouse in Fort Madison . North Lee County Courthouse in Fort Madison .
North Lee County Building in Fort Madison North Lee County Building in Fort Madison
LEE COUNTY, Ia. (WGEM) -

Lee County officials want to ban people from carrying guns inside government buildings.

Officials said this will create a safer environment for staff and visitors. Now, they are working on an ordinance that would prevent a tragedy from happening.

On the South Lee County Courthouse steps, there are no signs to indicate guns are not allowed in the building. Keokuk resident Johnna Bradford believes that should change. 

"Why would you want to have more trouble?" Bradford questioned. "It's bad enough having them on the streets, let alone the courthouse."

It's a second amendment right, but officials say the county's primary focus is safety.

"I have my own guns at home," Supervisor Don Hunold said. "I don't carry them even though there is a right to carry them. If you wish, that's fine. For business purposes or other purposes, I have no problem with that whatsoever. I just don't think that's the place for them. "

Lee County Sheriff Stacy Weber said he can see both sides of the argument. He said it will be one thing to put a sign up, but to impose that rule is another issue in itself. 

"If they want me to enforce that or put security measures in place, I'll have to ask for it in a portion of my budget because we need to put people in those areas," Weber said.  

Lee County has already experienced an incident in the past where someone brought a cross bow to the courthouse in 2015, and the county wants to make sure another act like that doesn't happen again. 

"Most people are pretty legitimate and for legitimate reasons they need to have it," Hunold said. "But for courthouses and schools, that's not a place."

Bradford's family hunts with guns often and says they are good for the outdoors, just not on the streets. 

"Guns are okay but they shouldn't bring them into the public places," Bradford said. 

Hunold said the proposed ordinance talks will be discussed further at upcoming meetings.  

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