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More Platte County employees can bring handguns to work

Posted at 6:44 PM, Aug 22, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-29 23:36:02-04

PLATTE CITY, Mo.  — The Platte County Commission approved an ordinance to allow more county employees who own a handgun to bring it to work.

The ordinance expands who is permitted to carry a gun with a conceal carry license to include employees in the Public Works and Parks and Recreation departments. Those departments are not housed in the administration building, where it was already legal to bring a gun to work.

Platte County Commissioner John Elliott said the mass shootings across the country from schools to churches to public events put a focus on keeping county employees safe.

"They just put the exclamation point on that you’re not safe anywhere,” Elliott said.

The change in the ordinance was recommended by some Platte County Public Works employees, who wanted to carry a gun with them at work.

"I’ve had a couple of people that have come in to the Public Works building who have made threats,” Elliott said.

The goal, according to Elliott, is to make sure each county employee feels safe at work and to prevent a mass shooting from happening here and provides "the right to defend themselves either on property or when they are out doing their job off of property,” he said.

Some Platte County residents 41 Action News spoke with agreed with the ordinance.

"I think it’s a great idea, because the police can’t be everywhere at the time that they’re needed,” Platte County resident Mike Riley said.

Others had some concerns about the ordinance.

"It could help the community, but if you hand somebody a firearm that doesn't know how to run their firearm then it could be dangerous,” resident Bryce Wayne said.

The thinking behind the ordinance is that, if the public knows county employees could be armed, it will prevent acts of terror from happening in Platte County.

"They can help defend from all of these mass shootings that are starting to take place,” Riley said.

Wayne said it would make him think twice.

"Probably in the long run less bombings and less bad stuff to happen," he said. "I know if everybody is carrying a firearm, I’m not going to commit a crime. That’s going to put me less apt to commit a crime or do something terrible."

Elliott said the employees do not need to tell their boss if they bought a handgun, but the public still can not enter government buildings with a handgun.