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Kane to look at policy on concealed carry in county buildings

16th Circuit Chief Judge Judith Brawka

16th Circuit Chief Judge Judith Brawka

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Updated: March 25, 2013 6:41AM

Last December, federal courts gave Illinois a 180-day timeline for creating concealed carry legislation, and Kane County will need to be ready.

16th Circuit Chief Judge Judith Brawka told the County Board Judicial and Public Safety Committee on Friday that they will have to come up with a countywide weapons policy. The clock runs out in June for Illinois to enact concealed carry, and the county needs a plan, she said.

“This really is the time to start thinking about this,” Brawka said.

Legislation created by the state may or may not include the court system within it. If it does not, the county needs to be standing by with policies that address the issue, she said.

“Everyone should be able to come to court without being afraid inside the building,” she said.

Members of the public are currently not allowed to appear in court with weapons, and Brawka said she did not see that changing. Police officers are allowed to carry weapons in court, except when it is for their personal case.

Court buildings are typically protected with metal detectors. That is not the case for some of the other county facilities that would need to be addressed with a local weapons policy.

The county would need to address a weapons policy for situations such as when someone comes to pay a tax bill. It would also need to address whether county employees are allowed to carry weapons while working, she said.

If an employee shows up with a weapon, the county may need to provide gun lockers. That is an expense the county will need to start considering.

“I don’t think we want to tell anybody to go put their guns in their cars,” she said.

County Board Chairman Chris Lauzen said he was glad that Brawka addressed the issue, but did not yet have a full opinion on the matter.

“Of course we need to give this full consideration,” he said. “We have to make sure everyone’s rights and everyone’s safety is protected.”

Brawka said her office is starting to look at the logistics of how other states handle such issues. Since Illinois is the last state to enact a concealed carry law, there are other examples to pull from.

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