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Licensed to conceal carry: County to allow guns in buildings

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County commissioners Tuesday unanimously passed a resolution allowing people licensed to carry a concealed handgun to do so in county government buildings.

The move is effective immediately and brings the county in line with state legislation passed in December.

However, one county official whose offices are affected raised concerns about security.

Auditor Mike Kovack said he will attempt to ban firearms from the third floor of the county administration building where his offices are located.

Senate Bill 199 amended Ohio Revised Code Section 2923.126 to allow individuals with a valid concealed handgun license to carry into “institutions of higher education, daycare facilities, aircraft, certain government facilities, public areas of airport terminals, and school safety zones.”

It went into effect statewide March 21.

The county resolution allows licensed individuals to carry a handgun “in all county buildings with the exception of the Medina County Courthouse, Medina County Sheriff’s Office, Medina County Juvenile Detention Center, Medina County Prosecutor’s Office, Medina County Domestic Relations Court Visitation Center, Medina County Job and Family Services Building, or any other building posted with the signage prohibiting a deadly weapon.”

County Administrator Scott Miller said he is coordinating with the Sheriff’s Office to set up an after-hours gun safety talk for county employees.

“We’d have a sheriff’s deputy instruct everyone on gun safety,” he said after Tuesday’s meeting.

Kovack explained in an interview his reasons for objecting.

“We had two incidents within the past year where our staff felt unsafe,” he said.

He described one incident several months ago in which a man disputing his tax bill at the auditor’s office made a shooting motion toward staff members, telling them he’d “be back” if the issue was not resolved.

Commissioners told Kovack he should consult with the county prosecutor about the legality of banning firearms from his floor.

A message left with Prosecutor S. Forrest Thompson seeking comment was not returned Tuesday.

Commissioner Adam Friedrick said in an interview commissioners were aware of Kovack’s concern.

“He gave us a hard copy” of his objection, Friedrick said.

Friedrick said since there are no metal detectors in the administration building, people are able to illegally bring guns in now.

He said he was unaware of any other Medina County government offices that had concerns similar to Kovack’s.

Contact reporter Marina Malenic at (330) 721-4063 or nmalenic@medina-gazette.com.

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