Metal detectors at the Woodbury County Courthouse.

Weapons will once again no longer be allowed in the Woodbury County Courthouse. The Woodbury County Board of Supervisors voted 3-2 Tuesday to reinstitute a weapons ban.

Supervisor Jeremy Taylor proposed rescinding a January 16th board request to Judge Duane Hoffmeyer to allow guns to be brought in to areas of the building and other county facilities:

“I think that practical implications of bringing weapons into the courthouse with varying functions has become unfeasible. It’s impractical, it adds cost, even though maybe not as much as has been purported,” Hoffmeyer says. He says the additional cost is enough to reconsider the issue.

“With adding that cost I think it is not long tenable to continue considering,” he says. Sheriff Dave Drew had estimated it would cost from $600,000 to more than $900,000 per year to add more security measures if weapons were allowed into the buildings. Supervisor Matthew Ung, who led the effort to allow guns to be brought into the courthouse, challenged whether current board chairman Rocky DeWitt would be eligible to vote. DeWitt works for the Woodbury County Sheriff’s Department, which provides security to the building, but said he would vote.

He says the county attorney told him he is okay to vote. DeWitt was essentially the deciding vote joining Taylor and Marty Pottebaum, who seconded the motion, to re-institute the ban. Ung and Keith Radig voted against Taylor’s proposal. They also voted against a second Taylor motion to change language in the county employee handbook prohibiting employees from carrying firearms while court is in session or security is provided by courthouse security. That also passed 3-2.

(By Woody Gottburg, KSCJ, Sioux City)