Dare looks at weapons rule after shooting incident
About six shots were fired at the Social Services building in Manteo. Fortunately, no one was inside. It happened at around 1 a.m.
Manteo Police Chief Vance Haskett said it appeared that the shots were not random.
“Someone had a problem with Social Services,” he said.
Citing the incident, Commissioner Jack Shea proposed Monday that a ban on weapons in county buildings be eased to allow officials to carry permitted concealed firearms.
Shea said that authority figures in private and public occupations have increasingly become the targets of disgruntled or deranged individuals.
“I believe we should permit our county officials to have the right, if they so choose, to protect themselves when doing the work of the county,” Shea said.
Some commissioners seemed willing to consider the idea. But Commissioner Allen Burrus said any new policy should exclude recreational facilities and ballfields, where the atmosphere can sometimes become volatile.
“My concern is that’s probably a place where you have county officials under a lot of pressure sometimes from parents and athletes and different things,” he said.
Commissioner Virginia Tillett objected to the idea, noting that receptionists and other workers are more vulnerable because they are nearest to entryways and have more day-to-day contact with the public. The discussion centered on authorization being offered only to selected department heads and commissioners.
Shea offered his idea as a motion to change county policy. But Tillett said it needed more consideration and vetting by the county attorney.
“Check with department heads, Check with your employees,” she said. “Do they want that? I mean, to me it’s asking for trouble. And I just don’t believe in asking for trouble.”
Commissioners appointed a committee to look into the proposal and consult with County Manager and Attorney Bobby Outten. One question is which public officials would be authorized to carry guns.
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