WICHITA, Kan. — A county commissioner is questioning the light usage of a $73,000 gun locker at a courthouse in south-central Kansas.

The gun locker’s usage was reported at a Sedgwick County staff meeting this week under questioning from County Commission Chairman David Unruh. He was the only commissioner who voted against the gun locker when it was approved in March, the Wichita Eagle reported .

County officials said the locker has been used 62 times in the last six months, primarily by two lawyers who regularly check their weapons when they go to court.

“We invested that money so two attorneys who frequent the courthouse can carry their gun,” Unruh said. “That’s what it kind of amounts to.”

Commissioner Jim Howell says the gun locker is a matter of principle because “people have a right … to protect themselves.”

Before gun lockers, “We put them in this awkward position when they have to do business in our building, they’ve got to either leave their gun in their car or leave it at home or whatever,” Howell said. “And so they’re vulnerable and no way to protect themselves between their point of departure or their vehicle and our building.”

Unruh said the locker is unnecessary.

“If we’re spending money on something that’s somewhat superfluous and not used by the general public, you might think that this was wasteful,” he said.

A glass bullet shield around the locker accounted for about $63,000 of the cost. Courthouse Police Chief Darrell Haynes said he’s also had to add an officer to work part time on lobby duty because an officer has to assist people when they lock up their guns.


Information from: The Wichita (Kan.) Eagle, http://www.kansas.com

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