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Thread: We Need a Locker Provision

  1. #1
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    We Need a Locker Provision

    I just visited the sheriff's office (at the courthouse) in Harrisburg PA. And I went armed.

    That's right. Fully armed, I walked through the morning streets of downtown Harrisburg and entered the courthouse fully armed and fully legal. What you may ask is the secret to this trick? The answer is simple. Lockers.

    Pennsylvania state law provides that lockers be provided for all legal weapons carriers at the courthouses not just for LEO.

    I entered the courthouse. Told the guard that I had a firearm to check in. Was shown to a locker. Unholstered. Unloaded. Deposited gun. And I was given a receipt. When my business was finished, the entire process was reversed, and I was on my way. They were very polite and civilized.

    I was extremely impressed.

    We need this in Virginia.
    Last edited by Fenris; 08-15-2014 at 08:37 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fenris View Post
    We need this in Virginia.
    Agreed. We need this in Colorado, too.

  3. #3
    Campaign Veteran skidmark's Avatar
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    Find a Delegate or Senator who agrees with you. Show them the PA legislation setting that system in place, so they can copy-paste into a bill. Have an idea (plus a fall-back idea) on how to fund the lockers.

    Show up at every public meeting, committee hearing, and town meeting the Delegate/Senator has (not just ones specifically about the locker bill) so you can push the notion. Get your family, your friends, and strangers off the street to show up, too.

    Easy-peasy.

    stay safe.
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    Regular Member The Wolfhound's Avatar
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    For other "contraban" too....

    I had occaision about 5 years ago to visit the courthouse in Norfolk. At the time lockers were available for cell phones and such. I was not carrying at that time so it may or may not have applied to handguns, but it could and should for those very few places where the government requires us to be sterile of "contraban". If the cost were passed on by the legislature upon any entity that want such bans, bans might be fewer as the entity would have to finance the program. If you want a policy bad enough, you must justify paying for it.
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    Regional jails have lockers for valuables. With permission from the Administrator I have stored my firearm there a few times. Remember the Judges still control the courthouses. It won't happen unless they want it.

  6. #6
    Activist Member JamesCanby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kenny View Post
    Regional jails have lockers for valuables. With permission from the Administrator I have stored my firearm there a few times. Remember the Judges still control the courthouses. It won't happen unless they want it.
    Now that's an interesting comment. If the courts are co-located with other municipal agencies in the same building, can the Administrative Judge require the entire building to be a gun-free zone? If not, this would require the security apparatus to be placed only at the access to the section of the building containing the courts. Has anyone approached a multi-use building that happens to house that jurisdiction's courts and asked that question?
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  7. #7
    Activist Member JamesCanby's Avatar
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    Never mind -- I now see that my question is the subject of discussion in the Fredricksburg Courthouse thread.
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  8. #8
    Regular Member TFred's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JamesCanby View Post
    Never mind -- I now see that my question is the subject of discussion in the Fredricksburg Courthouse thread.
    Yep... the answer is "No they can't, but they do it anyway."

    But I wonder if we pushed the fact that they are breaking the law, would that help us get lockers?

    This applies to not just guns. There are plenty of good reasons to take a camera or a voice recorder or a cell phone into another part of the building which is owned by the local municipality - that is NOT the courtroom. And with regard to firearms, 15.2-915 - Preemption - SHOULD apply.

    TFred

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    Regular Member USNA69's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JamesCanby View Post
    Now that's an interesting comment. If the courts are co-located with other municipal agencies in the same building, can the Administrative Judge require the entire building to be a gun-free zone? If not, this would require the security apparatus to be placed only at the access to the section of the building containing the courts. Has anyone approached a multi-use building that happens to house that jurisdiction's courts and asked that question?
    Norfolk's court house is precisely like that. It is colocated (but physically separate from) the real estate records office, the office in which application for CHP is made (ironically), and other non-court offices.

    Nevertheless, visitors to these non-court offices must pass through the same security, which means no cell phones, no recorders, no thumb drives, and no weapons.

  10. #10
    Regular Member TFred's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by USNA69 View Post
    Norfolk's court house is precisely like that. It is colocated (but physically separate from) the real estate records office, the office in which application for CHP is made (ironically), and other non-court offices.

    Nevertheless, visitors to these non-court offices must pass through the same security, which means no cell phones, no recorders, no thumb drives, and no weapons.
    Just to clarify, the law allows the Judge(s) to set rules for the courthouse and the Clerk's office. Real estate records would be an interesting debate. The actual Court records, where real estate records (deeds, liens, etc.) are recorded, would be part of the Clerk's office. But most jurisdictions have a separate real estate office which handles the assessments and tax records, etc. That may not be a part of the Court. The courthouse rulemaking falls under the provision of the Code of Virginia 8.01-4.

    8.01-4. District courts and circuit courts may prescribe certain rules.

    The district courts and circuit courts may, from time to time, prescribe rules for their respective districts and circuits. Such rules shall be limited to those rules necessary to promote proper order and decorum and the efficient and safe use of courthouse facilities and clerks' offices. No rule of any such court shall be prescribed or enforced which is inconsistent with this statute or any other statutory provision, or the Rules of Supreme Court or contrary to the decided cases, or which has the effect of abridging substantive rights of persons before such court. Any rule of court which violates the provisions of this section shall be invalid.

    It's when you have other offices, like the Commonwealth's Attorney, or other city/county positions in the same building that you run into trouble being legal.

    Of course, if you read the blue text in the code, one could make a very strong argument, especially in light of 15.2-915, that rules restricting the carry of a gun for self-defense are invalid. Good luck with that, though.

    ETA: The blue text would probably give you a lot more clout arguing against prohibitions of cell phones, cameras, voice recorders, etc. And that may very well be a point worth being made. In this day and age, the inconvenience of prohibiting these devices is much greater than it once was.

    TFred
    Last edited by TFred; 08-16-2014 at 02:09 PM. Reason: Spell much?

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