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4/2/2013 6:00:00 AM
Mohave County workers get green light on guns
Steve Harris carts away part of the magnetometer.JC AMBERLYN/Miner
Steve Harris carts away part of the magnetometer.
JC AMBERLYN/Miner
County Risk Manager Robert Prince dismantles a now-outdated sign outside the building.JC AMBERLYN/Miner
County Risk Manager Robert Prince dismantles a now-outdated sign outside the building.
JC AMBERLYN/Miner

Suzanne Adams-Ockrassa
Miner Staff Reporter


KINGMAN - A divided Board of Supervisors voted 3 to 2 to allow Mohave County employees to carry weapons in the county administrative building.

District 2 Supervisor Hildy Angius and District 1 Supervisor Gary Watson voted against lifting the ban on employees carrying weapons listed in the county's employee merit rules.

Several employees spoke in favor of removing the ban. Most of them were concerned because the public is now allowed to carry weapons into the building. The Board of Supervisors approved allowing the public to carry weapons into the building in March.

There have been several changes in state legislatures that allow public employees to carry weapons into public buildings, such as schools, said Michael Dorman from the county development services department.

"But in Mohave County, in the event of a situation, our best options are to hide behind our desks or throw a chair at them," Dorman said.

Judy Toledo and Leslie Bruxvoort, two employees from the county's office of management and budget, opposed lifting the ban.

"It's not that we don't respect our coworkers who want to carry, but we don't want or coworkers to get hurt or killed either by an accidental discharge," Toledo said.

The Arizona concealed weapon carry permit process doesn't provide enough training, she said. Also, employees carrying a gun are at risk of being shot by law enforcement in a situation where it's hard to tell the good guys from the bad guys.

Mohave County Sheriff Tom Sheahan agreed that in a shooting situation, it could be difficult for deputies to determine which person holding a gun was the good guy.

"I'm not anti-gun. I own several guns. I just don't think it's appropriate here," Toledo said.

County Investigator Gary Engels said he wasn't in favor of allowing the public to bring guns into the building, but since the Board had decided to do that it should allow employees to carry, as long as they are properly trained when and where to use a gun.

"There's no other county in the state that allows employees to carry weapons and that takes me back to the liability to the county," Angius said.

"I'm uncomfortable with the whole situation, but I'm more uncomfortable with the fact that the public can carry but employees can't," said District 4 Supervisor Joy Brotherton, "You don't have to have a gun to hurt someone, but I don't want to be sitting duck, either."

District 1 Supervisor Gary Watson and District 3 Supervisor Buster Johnson also had concerns about the county's liability.

District 5 Supervisor Steven Moss argued for allowing employees to carry.

"It depends on what you want to do," said William Hardy of the Arizona Counties Insurance Pool. The more detail, restrictions and training the county offered to employees who wanted to carry at work, the more liability the county would assume.

Even limiting it to employees who have concealed weapons permits wouldn't help much, Hardy said, since the state recently relaxed the requirements to get a permit.

However, if the county decided to delete the reference in its merit rules prohibiting employees from carrying a weapon at work and leave it at that and an incident occurred, then the county would be covered, Hardy said. However, the insurance pool would not cover the actions of the individual employee.

The county would probably still get sued because plaintiffs always go for the deep pockets, Hardy said.

Moss made a motion to follow Hardy's advice and simply strike language prohibiting employees from carrying weapons.



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Related Stories:
• Supervisors will check out Mohave County library gun ban
• Guns in Mohave County buildings: What's the policy?
• Guns coming back to Mohave County building


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Reader Comments

Posted: Tuesday, April 9, 2013
Article comment by: A Proud Socialist - Look it Up

JMA, they call them dictionaries.

Posted: Monday, April 8, 2013
Article comment by: Just me asking

@ fh
Let's see... "progressive". Isn't that another name for socialist? Or is it communist?
Like the CEO of progressive insurance co?


Posted: Saturday, April 6, 2013
Article comment by: If I Remember

Those much needed scanners and lock boxes cost the county close to 100k if memory serves me correctly.

Now here we are say, "post paranoia" voting to keep guns and remove the scanners.

I think those voting for the scanners should pay for them. They sure were so needed so our leaders could sleep at night. My next question? Will the county ( tax payers) pay for the guns that will replace the scanners?


Posted: Thursday, April 4, 2013
Article comment by: Fun and Games

Until someone looses an Eye. It will depend on how important ( wealthy) the eye donor is to determine the action taken after the fact.

If some local "big wig" happens to be a related. e'll probably see the guns in lockers or back in Employees gun safes at home.

This is a great idea because. Nobody ever has a bad day at work.


Posted: Thursday, April 4, 2013
Article comment by: tj denton

@ F H

Well there, if 23 years old means im a dinasour then ok. If by "breed" you mean the kind with the common sense to know that if someone wants to commit a crime, they will do it, regardless of the cowardice gun laws the liberal left tries to put out there, then yes, I am of that breed.


Posted: Wednesday, April 3, 2013
Article comment by: origional kingman Resident

@ County Resident

Please educate yourself on the US Constitution and government.

The Constitution was not established as a rule book or restriction for the people. It was established to delineate percisely the powers that the federal government would and would not have.

Anything not allowed for the federal government in the Constitution is reserved for the people and the states.

You'll notice that the 2nd amendment states that the right of the people to bear arms shall not be infringed. That is a directive to the federal government that they may not interfer with the people's right to bear arms. The 2nd amendment is not directed toward the people.


Posted: Wednesday, April 3, 2013
Article comment by: Town Crier

No guns is a no-brainier in most other states' county buildings, but not here of course. Way to show how completely uncivilized this county is. No wonder so many are leaving the county and the state. Those people are afraid this stupidity, that runs rampant here, is contagious.

Posted: Tuesday, April 2, 2013
Article comment by: Boom Boom

FLS - A car isn't designed to propel a deadly projectile a vast distance at a high rate of speed.

And you pay several hundred dollars for a gun but shiver at the thought of insurance that will probably cost around $35-$40/year. An insurance policy that would fairly compensate an innocent since a lawsuit wouldn't even bring about enough to pay burial costs. I guess you don't feel there are consequences for any damage guns cause. Sure hope you sleep well at night.


Posted: Tuesday, April 2, 2013
Article comment by: F H

Oh TJ and FLS we aren't going anywhere. You're breed are dinosaurs. In 20 years even this county will be progressive.

Posted: Tuesday, April 2, 2013
Article comment by: Oh Ya

Sell the scanners so you don't have to raise taxes!

Posted: Tuesday, April 2, 2013
Article comment by: Frank Lee Speaking

@May The Best Shot Win

"Doesn't it make more sense for that relinquishment to include the one thing that leads to nothing but intimidation and violence, to wit weapons?"

No, it does not, at least it does not in the real world. But if you prefer to go through life unarmed to make some philosophical point......good for you. And tell us how it works out the day you have to defend yourself with just your philosophical argument.

"It's a shame employees and the public can't go into their buildings without seeing weapons everywhere"

And if someone is practicing concealed carry you can see them with your x-ray vision?

"It happened so quickly. I just grabbed my gun and it went off. It was an accident. I didn't mean to kill anyone."

Since you used this as a quote I suppose you are prepared to name the person and/or the news source you are quoting, right? Didn't think so.

"Like automobiles, guns should be insured so the innocents (or more likely their next of kin) would have legal recourse."

If I do not drive a car I own on a public road it does not have to be registered, I do not have to insure it, and I am not even required to have a drivers license to drive it around the 1000 acre ranch I may or may not own. Very lame analogy on your part, but quite a common one among gun-grabbers. Nice to know you favor pricing people out of their given right to bear arms. How very fascist of you. Just too lazy to spend the next 100 years or so trying to amend the Constitution, huh? Getting around it by using laws is quicker for you?


Posted: Tuesday, April 2, 2013
Article comment by: Tj Denton

Boo hoo, if you dont like it, or you didnt "sign up" for it, pound sand, you dont have to stay in mohave county

Posted: Tuesday, April 2, 2013
Article comment by: Frank Lee Speaking

@County Resident

"There is nothing in the Constitution that says that a person has a right to carry a gun into public buildings."

Really? Did you miss the line in the Bill Of Rights part that reads: "A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed"

And before you get really nit-picky, in the Heller case, the Supreme court said:

"It is not a right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any manner whatsoever and for whatever purpose"."

And we can debate about that, but to me it seems to refer to type of weapons and not location limits. I will be sure to leave my bazooka at at home when visiting a county building.

There is nothing in the 2nd Amendment that says I cannot juggle kittens while also carrying a gun, but that does not mean it is illegal to do so.


Posted: Tuesday, April 2, 2013
Article comment by: Fed Up

Interesting that the suggestion was made to "simply strike language prohibiting employees from carrying weapons" however Moss decided to limit the motion to the Administration Building only. I guess that's his only concern as he doesn't spend any time in any of the other county buildings. Who cares about the rest of the county employees? Apparently not Moss.

Posted: Tuesday, April 2, 2013
Article comment by: County Resident

This county has the gun issue completely messed up! There is nothing in the Constitution that says that a person has a right to carry a gun into public buildings. The Mohave Board are a collection of spineless individuals who bow down to a bunch of thugs who think that the government is out to get them. We don't allow smoking in public places because it can harm other people but guns are no problem?! What's is wrong with having a "PUBLIC" building that allows ALL of its' citizens to feel safe from those who might do harm? Put the metal detectors back and provide security officers. Then we can all feel safe (both customers and employees alike). And ot top it all, the board decided to remove any rules that could keep some potential idiot employee from taking a gun to work because even the insurance company won't insure them.

Posted: Tuesday, April 2, 2013
Article comment by: Al DiCicco

I don't always like attorneys, but when I do in Mohave County, it's Steve Moss and Eric Engan. Voices of reason. Peace!

Posted: Tuesday, April 2, 2013
Article comment by: May The Best Shot Win

Try listening to the conversation - guns in a building are to be used to "hurt people." That is the bottom line. Now the BOS has added another layer of guns. The decision lifting the ban on guns was an unwise decision in the first place.

A gun is much too convenient to "win" a dispute over taxes, or an agenda item, or a zoning question. In a spur of the moment tragedy can occur. Ask any of those behind bars for shooting someone - "It happened so quickly. I just grabbed my gun and it went off. It was an accident. I didn't mean to kill anyone." The BOS bent to a minority of loud pro-gunners and failed in its job to act wisely in protecting the citizens - it's #1 job.

It's amazing for the sheriff to admit once bullets start firing it will be difficult for our duly appointed and well-trained officers to decide who to shoot. Here's a sheriff that attends meetings showing off assault weapons like they are toys.

It's a shame employees and the public can't go into their buildings without seeing weapons everywhere and wondering who will start shooting. What kind of society are we creating?

And the liability issue - perhaps that should be shared with the gun totters. Like automobiles, guns should be insured so the innocents (or more likely their next of kin) would have legal recourse.


Posted: Tuesday, April 2, 2013
Article comment by: civilized citizen

This is not the form of government I signed up for.

First, when we consider a civilized society, is it really one where weapons are needed in places where members of the society and the government agents who serve both need them? Why not let it be one where the pen is in fact mightier than the sword? Is the county saying that the sword is mightier, and if so, why even continue to try to be civilized?

Second, as members of a democratic republic, the government as well as the civilians must relinquish a certain amount of sovereignty in order for the tenets of the agreed societal structure to have any validity. That has been the valid philosophical view for hundreds of years. Doesn't it make more sense for that relinquishment to include the one thing that leads to nothing but intimidation and violence, to wit weapons?

Third, insurance premiums *will* go up--there is no greater risk to safety than what has been decided here, and there is no arguing against that point. Have we forgotten what insurance is? And *when* those premiums go up, no one will foot the bill but government employees (not the ones who double-dip but the rest who haven't seen raises in???), the general public, AND the county as a whole i.e. everyone. Then, yes there's more, when the inevitable crazy person (be it a disgruntled employee or disgruntled citizen, commits an unspeakable act of violence inside of that building, who will pay? A child catching a stray bullet from a terrified employee who shoots first and asks questions later? An employee who was only days away from retirement?

The county has signed its own ticket to violence and despair with this decision and now we just have to wait for someone to do something just as ridiculous and inane as what the county has done here.




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