KINGMAN - The county's new gun check policy was going smoothly Monday morning before the Board of Supervisors' meeting - until the county ran out of lockers and one resident nearly walked through with a gun under his coat.
Resident Randy Cone said he relinquished one weapon to security officers, was wanded with a metal detector and then remembered that he had a second weapon on his hip. He notified the security officer and placed the second weapon on the table to be checked into the county's new gun lockers.
According to Cone, the officer then told him he had broken the law.
The officer then located a Mohave County Sheriff's deputy and allegedly told the deputy that Cone was trying to sneak a gun past security.
Cone said he wasn't trying to sneak anything past security, that he hadn't moved from the spot where the security officer had wanded him with the metal detector behind the security table. Cone, who wasn't arrested, said he filed charges of false reporting against the security guard.
The county created the new gun policy after resident Mervin Fried was arrested on Feb. 16 for attempting to carry a pitchfork into the county building. It was implemented Monday morning.
According to the new policy, every person entering the building must surrender their weapons to a security guard upon entering the building.
The guard writes down the name, the date and what type of weapon being stored. Then the weapon is placed inside an envelope and locked in a locker and the resident is given a receipt to retrieve the weapon.
Everyone entering the building is also wanded with a metal detector. This includes supervisors and county employees. District III Supervisor Buster Johnson said he was wanded and asked to turn over his weapon before entering the building. He did so.
Residents started showing up for the Supervisors' meeting around 9 a.m., and by 9:12 the 12 storage lockers were full. The weapons ranged from typical handguns to at least two slingshots.
A guard announced that the lockers were full and requested residents leave their weapons in their vehicles.
Several residents protested, stating that they did not want to leave their weapons in their vehicles for fear that they might be stolen.
Arizona Revised Statutes require that the county must provide the locker, several residents said.
A Mohave County Sheriff's deputy was called to the scene. He said he was unaware of a particular part of the statute that required the county to provide lockers if a resident refused to leave their weapon in their vehicle, but he would check.
Arizona Revised Statute 13-3102.10 does state, "If an operator of a public establishment or a sponsor of a public event requests that a person carrying a deadly weapon remove the weapon, the operator or sponsor shall provide temporary and secure storage. The storage shall be readily accessible on entry into the establishment or event and allow for the immediate retrieval of the weapon on exit from the establishment or event."
Guards were later told that they were allowed to place more than one weapon in a locker.
Residents were able to pick up their weapons after leaving the Board auditorium without problems.