City's insurer advises not to post signs prohibiting concealed weapons.
The city of Wisconsin Dells does not want any of its public buildings posted as banning concealed weapons, but the Kilbourn Library Board favors a ban.
The city council's Legislative Committee Monday discussed whether to post signs saying concealed weapons are not allowed inside a building, but Alderperson Debbie Kinder, a member of the library board, said most of the library board members favored posting the library as not allowing concealed weapons.
City Attorney Joe Hasler provided committee members with a copy of an analysis by the city's insurance carrier, Cities and Villages Mutual Insurance Company, on whether or not to post signs banning concealed weapons. The carrier advised that if cities post, the signs should also contain a disclaimer that it could not guarantee that no one had a concealed weapon or a person's safety. If the city posts and something happens, it could be liable, he said. If weapons are permitted and something happens, the city cannot be held liable.
However, the concealed carry law provides that police departments and courtrooms not allow concealed weapons. Police Chief Jody Ward said that city's police department would be posted, and when the council chambers in the municipal building is used for municipal court, it will be posted.
Kinder said that about 70 percent of libraries are posting signs that no concealed weapons are allowed and the village of Lake Delton is posting its building not allowing weapons.
If someone comes to the library to hurt people, the sign will mean nothing, said Alderperson David Murray, chairman of the committee.
The library board is advisory, Mayor Brian Landers said, and he said he does not think the library board has the authority to decide whether to post the signs on the building. He said citizens are strongly in favor of the law and 48 other states have it. If the library post it would have to have metal detectors and guards to search for guns, he said.
Landers said people worry that someone will drop a gun and it will go off, but he said that he has never seen that.
Alderperson Brian Holzem also said people are not comfortable with weapons, but a sign does not stop anyone. He said the library and city should take the advice of its insurance carrier and not put signs up.
Alderperson Jesse DeFosse, owner of the Showboat, said he did not want to put a sign up at his business. But, he asked if people come in with guns, could he ask them to leave.
As a private business, he can ask anyone to leave and if they do not leave, they can be cited for trespassing, Landers said.
Hasler also told the committee that the city's trespassing ordinance would not need to be changed to covered places posted as not allowing concealed weapons. If the owner posts signs saying the business is weapons free, the city can enforce it with its trespass ordinance.