Debate whether to arm parole officers

gunpointingrightNeither of the bills that have expanded concealed and open carry of firearms in Kansas during the past two sessions mustered even two dozen “no” votes among the 165 state legislators. So it’s remarkable that a proposal to arm parole officers went nowhere this year. Then again, the parole officers want the state to pay for the weapons and provide training, which would cost $500,000 in a time of budgetary stress for the Kansas Department of Corrections and state government as a whole. But with armed parole officers the national trend, and the status quo in Oklahoma for at least 40 years, the issue is due a full Statehouse debate. The state’s budget problems shouldn’t deter efforts to safeguard these important officers.