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County pushes to permit guns on Iowa courthouse floors

January 17, 2018

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) — County officials in western Iowa have asked a judge to allow guns in some areas of the courthouse amid security questions and the likelihood of increased costs.

The Woodbury County Board of Supervisors formally requested on Tuesday that Judge Duane Hoffmeyer permit weapons on the floors of the Woodbury County Courthouse without court functions. The board voted 3-1-1 to send the letter request, which would change how security is handled in the courthouse, the Sioux City Journal reported .

Counties can seek to authorize guns in public areas of a courthouse that aren’t occupied by the court system under a supervisory order issued by the Iowa Supreme Court in December. Judges approve the requests.

The board specifically asked for guns to be allowed on five of the courthouse’s eight floors, excluding floors 2, 3 and 4.

Implementing the request on some floors could prove complicated due to individuals with guns potentially moving on various floors.

Supervisor Marty Pottebaum voted against the measure. Pottebaum asked what would prevent individuals with a gun permits from saying they were visiting an upper level department and then entering a courtroom on the second floor.

Currently, individuals who visit the courthouse with a weapon can secure it in a lock box and retrieve it before exiting the building.

Sheriff’s office Maj. Todd Wieck said keeping the building secure will become costly. Wieck said Sheriff Dave Drew plans to draft a security proposal and meet with the Woodbury County Security Committee.

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Information from: Sioux City Journal, http://www.siouxcityjournal.com

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