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Sunset Hills board bans carrying of concealed weapons in city buildings

The Sunset Hills Board of Aldermen voted unanimously last Tuesday to ban the carrying of concealed firearms in city buildings.

"We surely don't want people with firearms in city buildings," Sunset Hills Mayor Jim Hobbs said. "Now, you can carry a concealed weapon in Missouri. That's fine, but when you reach city property, we don't want that happening."

The board's decision follows a state Supreme Court ruling over the issue.

Gov. Bob Holden vetoed the concealed-carry legislation approved by the Missouri Legislature, but last fall the Legislature overrode the governor's veto. The legislation was challenged, but the Supreme Court upheld the measure.

Though constitutional elements of the debate are ongoing, the Sunset Hills board decided it was time to act — limiting concealed firearms to non-city property.

Sunset Hills first read the bills involving the possible ban in October, but because of the challenge at the state level, final consideration of the legislation did not occur until last week.

Signs will be posted at the entrance of city buildings, which will state that the carrying of firearms is prohibited. Instances in which the city owns part of a building, that part will have signage, according to the Board of Aldermen's decision.

The city's ruling does not apply to public housing, highways or rest areas, firing ranges or private dwellings owned or leased by the city.

Aldermen also agreed on penalties that will be assessed for violating the ban.

Carrying a concealed firearm will not be a criminal offense.

However, if found in violation, a person will be not be admitted onto, or asked to leave the city-owned premises.

If the person refuses, penalties range from up to a $100 fine for a first offense to a $500 fine and suspended endorsement to carry concealed firearms for three years for a third offense.

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