I was told that the whole building is completely weapons free. I pointed at the guns they were carrying and said, "Well, not completely." They were not amused.
Are they legally able to keep you from open carrying to the clerks offices?
I don't think so, but of course, the people with the guns make the rules.
Most places in Kentucky, including anti-gun Lexington, the city council is off limits, as are all courts and judge's chambers, but not the common areas of the city building where we'd go to renew driver's licenses. We have two new courthouses, one state and one federal. At least one, and probably both, are as you describe. I had to leave my open carry weapon in the truck, along with a knife, when I went into the building to get my concealed deadly weapons license.
As usual, the security is a joke. I know a very well dressed woman who had a big honkin' pistol in her very nice looking holster purse. She laid the purse on the table next to the metal detector tunnel and it flopped over hard on the side of the heavy gun. The security officer righted the purse and it rolled over and played dead again. She probably had a 3-4 pound pistol in there. She walked through the metal detector and the security officer handed her purse to her without even inquiring about the heavy pistol she was packing.
Is the Boyd County courthouse a new FEDERAL courthouse? If so, they may be invoking some federal law, in much the same manner that it's illegal to carry a firearm in a US Post Office. If that's the case, then putting the county offices in the federal building sounds like an end run around the spirit and intent of Kentucky law, specifically KRS 65.870. The city or county government is allowed to prohibit concealed carry in most of their buildings, but not open carry on local government property.
After some more online research and discussion, you may want to see if the Kentucky Attorney General will issue a ruling if there is no relevant example already. It'd be a good idea to have a reasonable assurance of a successful outcome before seeking that ruling, because those tend to be persistent and we don't want an anti-gun ruling on the record.
I'd like to know more about this too. Can the local government rent space in a federal building and then magically all of their offices are off limits to any firearms except THEIR firearms? That doesn't seem right to me.
I am just a guy on the internets. I am not a lawyer. This is not legal advice.