WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) You can now bring a gun inside the Sedgwick County Courthouse lobby. As of Monday, gun lockers are available to people who want to check their firearms while doing business at the courthouse.
There are 20 lockers located on the north side of the lobby, surrounded by bullet resistant glass. County commissioners approved the lockers last year, costing just under $74,000 total.
A sign outside the enclosure tells guests to see a courthouse police officer to check a firearm. Courthouse Police Chief Darrell Haynes says anyone wanting to check their gun will get a key from an officer.
"They'll open the locker, take the card from the locker. The unholster their gun, place it in the locker, then lock the locker up," said Haynes.
At no point will the courthouse police officer handle the gun.
"We don't want to get involved in that. We will stay outside of the enclosure," said Haynes.
People using the lockers will return the key, and keep the card as a claim check. Haynes says it's a simple and safe procedure, as long as everyone follows the rules.
"We just want to encourage everyone to be safe when they're handling firearms. And we've tried to make it as safe as possible for people to do that," said Haynes.
Haynes says there was an incident last year, involving someone who tried to hide their gun just outside the courthouse in a chip bag because they couldn't bring it into the lobby. He says they shouldn't have that problem with the new lockers.