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Commissioners work on revisions to proposed weapons policy

Calvert County’s commissioners are proceeding with revisions to a proposed contraband and weapons policy for county employees and visitors.

During the commissioners’ Tuesday meeting, they approved changes proposed by Wilson Parran, deputy county administrator.

The revisions mostly got the approval of Commissioner Earl F. “Buddy” Hance (R), who objected to the original proposal during the commissioners’ June 9 meeting.

“This product is much better than what we saw the first time,” he said. “It looks pretty good.”

Hance wasn’t completely satisfied, however, and tried to separate visitors to county property from the proposal, to no avail. He cited a hypothetical example of a citizen who is taking a cash deposit from a business to a bank, has a firearm and decides to stop by a county park to check on his child. Such a person would be in violation of the proposed policy even if he had a concealed carry permit.

“That is difficult, but from my perspective, the police are the final arbiter,” said Commissioner Thomas E. “Tim” Hutchins (R), a former superintendent of the state police.

“It is a dilemma,” Commissioner Mike Hart (R) said. Hance noted that the county currently does not have a weapons and contraband policy in place. The purpose of the proposal is to establish a policy for the safety and security of persons at county facilities. One tweak that the commissioners unanimously approved would allow county employees with a concealed carry permit issued by the state to appeal the policy. The proposal defines a weapon as a dirk knife, bowie knife, switchblade knife, star knife, sand club, metal knuckles, razor and nunchaku.

A firearm is defined as a weapon that expels, is designed to expel or may readily be converted to expel a projectile by the action of an explosive. It includes the frame or receiver of such a weapon and a “starter gun.” The proposal excludes law enforcement, security or correctional officers who are carrying a weapon while on duty or appointed or elected officials who hold a valid concealed carry permit and are performing an official duty. The prohibition does not apply to a licensed hunter at a county facility where hunting is permitted. Commissioners’ President Kelly R. McConkey (R) said the commissioners will consider final approval of the proposal at their next meeting on July 14.

Twitter: @CalRecCALEB