Health center bans weapons
Jefferson County Health Center is a weapon-free zone with the passage of a resolution Monday evening during the Jefferson County Health Center Board of Trustees meeting.
In the wake of the “shall issue” right-to-carry law going into effect Jan. 1, the Iowa Hospital Association’s legal department issued a memorandum to Iowa hospitals Jan. 5. The memorandum stated that while the new legislation amended the criteria for issuance of a nonprofessional weapons permit, it didn’t alter current law regarding where weapons could be carried or change the right of hospitals to restrict weapons from their property. The memorandum continued, “It may be best for public hospitals to implement the weapons ban for its facility through a resolution or motion approved by the hospital board.”
Following the recommendation, CEO Deb Cardin drafted a resolution to establish a weapon-free zone “in and on the Jefferson County Health Center campus and properties.” If passed, a notice would be posted at the health center informing visitors that no weapons were allowed in the facility.
Cardin told the board that while trustee Merlin Miller wasn’t at the meeting and thus couldn’t vote on the resolution, he had expressed to Cardin that he opposed it.
“He opposes it because he feels like if somebody came in — like in the Arizona situation — that somebody needs the ability to protect themselves,” she said.
Both chairman Bob Keller and vice chairman Tom Kunkle saw the dangers involved in permitting weapons in the hospital.
“You want to avoid weapons in the chance that an emotional issue comes up. Unfortunately, one of the places people die is in the hospital, so there’s a lot of emotion attached to that,” said Kunkle.
For the complete article, see the Tuesday, Jan. 25, 2011, printed edition of The Fairfield Ledger.