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Madison County repeals ban on guns in public buildings

Madison County Commissioners repealed a ban on guns in public buildings this week, bringing the county into compliance with state law which already allows this.

Signs prohibiting weapons at the Sheriff’s Office, Madison Memorial Hospital and other public buildings will soon be removed.

“Those who plan on committing a crime aren’t gonna be stopped by a sign or some lettering on that door,” said Madison County Sheriff Roy Klingler.

Klingler said putting guns in good hands can actually reduce the likelihood of mass shootings and other incidents.

“If somebody started shooting down in the lobby waiting for a driver’s license, there’s a good chance that the first person to be there’s gonna be somebody that’s sitting right by him that has a gun,” said Klingler.

At Madison Memorial Hospital, however, no staff members carry guns, and now that visitors can, hospital officials say they’re a little concerned.

“When you bring the firearms into a setting where people are extremely vulnerable and it can be very stressful situations and during those situations oftentimes common sense and some of those things can become compromised,” said Troy Christensen, CFO at Madison Memorial.

Hospital employees undergo de-escalation training, and the hospital does have security guards – but not 24/7.

Christensen said this may change.

Klingler said the county courthouse will continue to ban firearms.

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