Martin County Commissioners heard from County Attorney Terry Viesselman on Tuesday regarding a policy update for county employees. He said “The sheriff had called me and inquired about one of our employees who wanted to know if it was OK to carry a handgun when he was in the courthouse, so we looked at that and the statute says that any employee or agent of an employee for a political subdivision, which would be the county, is forbidden from having a firearm while performing their official duties.” The law makes an exception for law enforcement and the county attorney, or his or her assistants

Viesselman said. “So we talked about this at the personnel committee and we thought it would be a good idea to put something in our manual stating that we can’t change the law, and make all our employees aware of it.”

While people with the proper permit can carry a gun in the courthouse, guns are not allowed in the courtroom.

The board took no immediate action, as a draft of the policy statement is still in the works.

County Attorney Terry Viesselman also shared information about the ongoing meth problem plaguing Martin County. He said we have a real meth problem in the community, and of those 17 [complaints] we did last week, almost all of them are related in one way or another to meth. We’ve had bizarre thefts at places where people just walk in, take stuff and just walk out the store with stuff to sell or trade for meth.

Martin County Sheriff Jeff Markquart also talked on the issue, saying that another part of the problem has to do with vaping, as well as drugs flowing into the area from outside the state. He added that “In the month of February, the drug task force we belong to did three search warrants, and in those searches we took in almost 100 pounds of meth.

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