By posting signs, the county can ban hidden weapons in other county buildings. After a review by county department heads and others, Abele is recommending signs to make the weapons off-limits in county park and zoo buildings, the Mental Health Complex, senior centers and other county property.
The Milwaukee Public Museum, the Marcus Center for the Performing Arts and the Milwaukee Public Museum, all of which are owned by the county, would also be posted as banning concealed weapons.
"Because I strongly support public safety, I believe that we have a responsibility to provide a safe environment for employees and visitors to county facilities," Abele said in a statement. "Allowing the carrying of concealed weapons would work against that goal."
Abele will submit a proposed revision to a county ordinance detailing the adjustment to the new state law for the County Board to consider later this month.
"We want people to still be able to utilize county-owned facilities in as safe a manner as possible, while still complying" with the new state law, County Corporation Counsel Kimberly Walker said Thursday. "We are trying to take precautions to keep people safe."
Clarke said only the courthouse complex, which includes the jail and Safety Building, should ban guns.
Posting signs banning concealed weapons would only encourage someone bent on using a gun in a county building because it would let them know "nobody else inside will be armed," Clarke said. And putting metal detectors in every building would be too costly, he said.
"If a maniac with a gun enters a county building and starts spraying the place up, my hope would be that a law-abiding, license-carrying gun toter would be able to counter the shooter," the sheriff said.
The county will not be able to continue to ban weapons in the outdoor areas of county parks and zoo, or on Milwaukee County Transit System buses, Walker said. One exception to that rule would be special events at parks where admission is charged.
Parks Director Sue Black said her department had already ordered 100 signs alerting visitors to park buildings that carrying a concealed weapon was banned, in anticipation of County Board approval.
The county also won't be able to ban concealed guns carried by employees in their cars, even if the car is used for a county job, according to a memo from Walker.
The Milwaukee Common Council last month adopted similar revisions to its ordinances to continue to ban guns from city buildings after the new state law takes effect.