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3/5/2013 6:00:00 AM
Guns coming back to Mohave County building
Ban to lift April 1 for public, but not workers
John Longoria speaks in favor of keeping the security checkpoint at the entrance to the Mohave County Administration Building during Monday’s Board of Supervisors meeting.
John Longoria speaks in favor of keeping the security checkpoint at the entrance to the Mohave County Administration Building during Monday’s Board of Supervisors meeting.

Suzanne Adams-Ockrassa
Miner Staff Reporter

KINGMAN - Starting in April, citizens will once again be able to bring holstered weapons into the Mohave County Administration Building.

County employees, however, might not.

After much discussion, the Board of Supervisors voted 3-2 Monday to dismantle the security checkpoint at the entrance of the building and to allow the public to carry weapons into the administration building.

District 3 Supervisor Buster Johnson and Board Chairman Gary Watson voted against the removal of the security and weapons ban. The change does not apply to other county buildings and all weapons must remain in a holster or scabbard while a person is in the building.

The Board also voted 4-1 to delay a decision on allowing employees to carry weapons in the building for the third time - this time because of concerns about losing insurance coverage.

District 4 Supervisor Joy Brotherton voted against tabling the issue.

Kingman resident Herberta Schroeder said she was in favor of allowing everyone to carry weapons in the building, including employees. She recommended requiring employees to get a concealed weapons permit before being allowed to carry a weapon in the building.

"You do have employees that deal with a lot of money," she said.

Kingman Resident Denise Bensusan favored the weapons ban and the security checkpoint.

"I think you're grossly underestimating the level of gun violence in this country," she said. "There is such hatred in this community. It can happen here. All you have to do is visit the social media websites. There are people who will kill you if you don't believe the same thing they do."

Retired law enforcement officer Neil Hickerson disagreed.

"I can tell you, when I was working as a law enforcement officer, I would have rather arrived at a scene and had to calm a victim down who had shot and killed a suspect than put a sheet over the body of another victim," he said.

The county has effectively created a larger problem by allowing the public, but not employees, to carry weapons in the building, Hickerson said.

"What's the liability if something happens to an employee who couldn't protect themselves?" he asked.

District 2 Supervisor Hildy Angius said she was uneasy that the Board did not have a firm opinion from the Arizona County Insurance Pool, which is the county's workmen's compensation organization.

Watson agreed.

"I hate for Mohave County to find itself in a situation where we were not covered. It would be putting the taxpayers at risk," Watson said.

Interim County Administrator Mike Hendrix drew the Board's attention to two letters the county had received on the security/weapons issue from ACIP.

The organization asked for an additional three months to consider the changes the county wanted to make - specifically, allowing employees to carry guns in the building, Hendrix said.

ACIP could drop the county's insurance coverage if the supervisors allowed employees to carry weapons, noted County Office of Management and Budget Director Gene Hepler.

A letter from County Civil Attorney Robert Taylor agreed with ACIP.

"So we still don't have a letter from an attorney saying what our liability would be?" asked District 3 Supervisor Buster Johnson.

Hendrix explained that ACIP's board of directors would bring the issue up with its attorneys at its March meeting and then give the county an opinion in May.

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Related Stories:
• Mohave County stays in-house for new administrator
• Guns in Mohave County buildings: What's the policy?
• Mohave County workers get green light on guns
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Reader Comments

Posted: Wednesday, May 15, 2013
Article comment by: Anson's Nephew


“I know common sense is extremely good at escaping the grasp of the liberal brain, …”

Hey, please provide some empirical proof of the above. Thank you.

Posted: Wednesday, May 15, 2013
Article comment by: az mac

I guess many do not understand that gun free zones invite mass shooters. Most every mass shooting has taken place in a gun free zone. Good people carrying guns will stop mass shootings. The second amendment says all people can carry a gun. If you abuse the right of carrying a gun then you will go to jail. People this is suppose to be a free country an it is up to the people to take personal responsible for their own actions. Not the government's job to be responsible for your actions. Gun control means you have lost a right and one step closer to becoming a communist country. In fact with the new laws from the federal government you no longer have any rights. Today they can jail you or kill you with no trial. They can take all you own and put you in a work camp with no trial. You do not have to do anything for that to happen.

Posted: Tuesday, May 14, 2013
Article comment by: Logical Contradiction

"The change does not apply to other county buildings"

There's a logical contradiction here. If more people with guns means more safety, then why should that benefit be limited to only one county building? And if more people with guns means less safety, then why should they be allowed in the Administration Building?

Posted: Tuesday, April 2, 2013
Article comment by: Steve Moss


In response to a couple of points:

1. The first vote in March was to turn the clock back to April 2010 when the public was forbidden to carry guns into the county administration building. Prior to 2010 the employees had no right to carry weapons ever since the merit rules had been enacted (decades ago).

2. The April vote was to turn back the clock for the employees "decades" not a few years. As a result, the voting block switched.

3. The limitation to the main county building was intentional and designed to get 3 votes. I prefer that all county buildings be opened up (except court, jail, etc). But that expansive of a vote would have probably lost and we would have regained no lost ground.

4. I trust the public and our employees. I believe there will be no serious incidents in the next 6 months or so in the main county administration building. There hadn't been from 1864 (formation of the county) through 2010 so I think its a pretty good bet. If I'm right, I intend to bring it back to the BOS within the next 6 months and make the case we should expand it.

The whole point of a constitutional republic is that we trust the people. If government doesn't trust the people, including our employees, then what's the point?

Steve Moss
Supervisor District 5

Posted: Friday, March 8, 2013
Article comment by: Everyone Can Carry - Well Almost Anyone

All you gun totters - what would your reaction be if you saw a Muslim-American walk into the county building with a gun - or better yet for you NRA fans, an AK47? Now let's be honest.

Posted: Friday, March 8, 2013
Article comment by: Citizen Woody

@ Hector Valenzuela
Wow! What comments!
Why NOT guns in government buildings? Don't we own the government buildings?
In fact, Don't we, the Citizens own the government???
By the way... You can't spit tobacco on the floor. It's unsanitary.
You're right on the Constitutional track BOS, keep up the good work.

Posted: Wednesday, March 6, 2013
Article comment by: trained observer

@Uncle Anson

People want to bring their guns to work because they want to bring their guns to work. 99.99% of them will never, ever have a reason to use them at work. Their desire does not constitute a good reason for the insurance to get canceled or rates to go up. Even you should be able to figure that out on your own.

Posted: Wednesday, March 6, 2013
Article comment by: James Clark

I would just like to thank our three Supervisors who voted in favor of getting rid of the gun ban for keeping their campaign promise. Thank you.

Posted: Wednesday, March 6, 2013
Article comment by: anonymous anonymous

Liberalitus a disease of the mind which connects all issues to their obession its all connected to liberals or democrats to make it plainer for those who seem to suffer from this disease! Not all democrats or liberals are anti-gun or anti-2nd amendment just as all of them are not pro-abortion, etc. the most ironic thing is many who suffer from this disease of the mind dwell 24/7 on their fears, imagined conspiracies, birtherism, secession from the USA, thank god they are a true miniority inside the naitonal party which registers repbulican which if one believes the facts which are easily discovered when one registers to vote about 22% of the american electorate and of that a sub-group exists suffering from that liberalitus!

Posted: Wednesday, March 6, 2013
Article comment by: Gabby B

It's nice to seeing some sensibility coming back to the administration building.
Good Riddance GURU Walker!

Posted: Wednesday, March 6, 2013
Article comment by: Tj Denton

This is to all you anti-gun liberal out there. How many police stations, military bases and gun stores do you see getting shot up? Not alot, why is that? Because when you know everyone around you is armed, are you gonna pull out your gun to rob someone? No. You are going to do it where you know that no one has a gun arent you? Yes. I know common sense is extremely good at escaping the grasp of the liberal brain, but come on, this is an easy one.

Posted: Tuesday, March 5, 2013
Article comment by: nnp .....

(from someone who definitely comes down on the side of gun ownership with the least possible restrictions).....what scenario do some people envision, where multiple people will have to settle things with firepower during a BOS meeting at the County Administration Building?

Posted: Tuesday, March 5, 2013
Article comment by: Save Yurselves

To those of you people who don't value your own life, nor the feelings of your family who you may leave behind, go ahead and continue to believe someone else with a badge will protect your life. As for the rest of us who don't have such a naive trust in a system that can't possibly protect us against criminals and crazies, we may now feel a little more confident that we might be able to protect ourselves.

Posted: Tuesday, March 5, 2013
Article comment by: Afraid of Gun Toters

Arizona, especially Kingman, has gone completely wacko! The people who scare me the most are the paranoid nut cases who actually carry weapons "for self-defense".

I most certainly plan to stay away from any county buildings... in self-defense.

Posted: Tuesday, March 5, 2013
Article comment by: Uncle Anson

Trained Observer -
Your remarks and insinuations concerning County employees continue to show that, regardless of your pseudo-name, you may be, at best, poddy trained. We pay taxes as well, for starters. Many county employees posses advanced degrees. Many are recognized as experts in their fields. Many are here after extremely successful careers in private industry. Many are well published. We represent you and perform services that you are obviously trained to not observe. Sure it costs money to perform these services but what would it cost if those services were discontinued? Bet you would quickly observe the things then lacking that you criticize now. I am personally sick of disparaging insinuations aimed at county employees. We are not politicians. We don't make the rules. We simply provide the services most take either as granted or as some due entitlement. Go redress your grievances at the appropriate level but stop the smearing innuendoes aimed at people that are not the cause of your ire.

Posted: Tuesday, March 5, 2013
Article comment by: Proud Kingmanite

Score one for the Second Amendment. I want to thank the Board of Supervisors for doing the right thing. True, there were 2 that voted against it (showing you where they stand in regards to the Constitution), but at least Americans in this county have won a significant fight in keeping our FREEDOM.

Posted: Tuesday, March 5, 2013
Article comment by: janice palmer

try some common sense. you're suppose to serve and protect, not abuse and get stupid. rethink your position and reinstate the gun ban. someone will surely get killed by an irate person either paying taxes, or in a supervisor meeting, or elsewhere. but the ending is the same. innocent people will die. senselessly. as a friend, and citizen...i implore you...rethink. janice l. palmer

Posted: Tuesday, March 5, 2013
Article comment by: Teri Merrill

I believe that the employees should be armed as well as should not be a gun-free zone for those working there. That is inviting trouble.

Posted: Tuesday, March 5, 2013
Article comment by: joker wilde

If only I had enough money to open a Kevlar vest stand outside the county admin property. I'd make a fortune.

Posted: Tuesday, March 5, 2013
Article comment by: Frank Lee Speaking

@az mac

"Employes armed will make the building safer."

I have nothing against employees being armed as long as the rest of us are allowed to be as well. Remember, the term "Going Postal" was coined as a result of post office employees going nuts with a gun, not the customers.

Posted: Tuesday, March 5, 2013
Article comment by: Rick Sherwood

@ anonymous
Its seems you're much more comfortable hiding behind a keyboard, incognito.
Which is fine with probably most of us who care more about our County and are willing to speak up. It's just as well that we don't have your involvement as it probably would take us off course.

Posted: Tuesday, March 5, 2013
Article comment by: Joe Schmo

Why stop with the public? Let's allow the County supervisors and the employees bring their guns to work too. If you have multiple weapons, bring those babies in as well. It will be show and tell for gun fetishists. After all an armed society is a polite society. Therefore, the more guns everyone has the more polite everyone will be.

And if any employee, supervisor, or member of the public starts usin' them fightin’ words, why they we can use the County Administration Building parking lot for daily gun battles at high noon. It could be a tourist attraction, kind of like old Tombstone but with real bullets.

Posted: Tuesday, March 5, 2013
Article comment by: Lori Gabriel-Dane

How ridiculous! Let's tell everyone that employees handle "a lot of money," and that they will now allow citizens to bring their guns into that building where the employees are NOT armed. Brilliant! I'm sure this information will be well-received for all the crazed druggies living in Kingman looking for their next fix, but can't afford it. Is there a logical reason why anyone needs to bring a gun into the County building?

Posted: Tuesday, March 5, 2013
Article comment by: Things Are Different Nowadays

Perhaps retired law enforcement officer Neil Hickerson would like to tell us how he would determine the "good guy with the gun" from the "bad guy with a gun" when he arrives on a scene at the county building where bullets are flying in every direction. Or would he feel comfortable comforting a family where he shot the "good man" mistaking him for the "bad guy". Or just as important, would how would he console a LEO who shot the wrong guy?

Mr. Hickerson, it was easy in your day - you'd just shoot the person firing the gun.

Posted: Tuesday, March 5, 2013
Article comment by: Where's My Rights to Feel Safe When Conducting County Business

Denise Bensusan, Gary Watson, and Buster Johnson share my view. Why should my rights be dismissed as a law abiding citizen, county resident feeling in danger with guns all around me.

I do not know Joe Sixpack next to me angry with his tax bill. I do not know if the little guy wearing army camouflage and "packing heat" isn't mad that his girlfriend (a county employee) has cut off their relationship and he is planning to go postal.

Why does this country feel it must accommodate the radicals among us.

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