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Thread: Arrested in Courthouse

  1. #1
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    I drove to the county clerks office today in an attempt to obtain my concealed permit. I had my gun in my car. I walked around trying to find the damn place. Walked in. Realized I had a magazine in my left coat pocket that was lodaed but not before Isstarted empting my pockets. At this point I notified the Securitas security guard. i figured it was best to go with honesty instead of trying to gather up my **** and walk back out. I did notice the sign outfront that said no weapons but apparntely ammunition is included within this law, but again I did not know/remember I had the magazine on me. The securitas employee went to retrieve a county officer. Make a long story short: I was arrested on counts of havng a concealed weapon in a courthouse. Class I misdemeaner. Court trial december 11th.

    I need a good lawyer for the Fairfax County area. Please give me some numbers. thanks.

    Other questions:
    How does this affect me applying for a concealed now?
    How does his affect me carrying openly?
    Does this affect either?
    Does this disqualify me from owning a firearm in some way?

    damn it,
    Darrin




    EDIT: the two policemen who handled me were extremely unprofesional and incourteous (as my experience always seems to go) as well as the dumbass redneck magistrate who basicall told me I am gonna get shot if I carry opnely in a car if I get pulled over (to which I responded that the officer would be in gross violation of the law, to which they all responded with laughs and arrogant posturing). And thier comments while I was subjected to a strip search (but dont worry, I am never one to hold back my opnion so I did let a few choice counterpunches out) made it the most humiliating event in my entire life.

    I did speak with one lawman who was courteous but I think it may have been more to get me to calm down. The female officer in the room at first was courteuos enough to pick up my translucent guitar picks form my pockes whn the other guys refused to as they were baggin up me property. The fingerprint guy was ok too as well as the oungman who led me out of the place when my bond was paid and almost 1.5 hours passed...

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    I'll make you an offer: I will argue and fight for all of your rights, if you will do the same for me. That is the only way freedom can work. We have to respect all rights, all the time--and strive to win the rights of the other guy as much as for ourselves.

    If I am equal to another, how can I legitimately govern him without his express individual consent?

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  3. #3
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    thorsmitersaw wrote:
    I drove to the county clerks office today in an attempt to obtain my concealed permit. I had my gun in my car. I walked around trying to find the damn place. Walked in. Realized I had a magazine in my left coat pocket that was lodaed but not before Isstarted empting my pockets. At this point I notified the Securitas security guard. i figured it was best to go with honesty instead of trying to gather up my **** and walk back out. I did notice the sign outfront that said no weapons but apparntely ammunition is included within this law, but again I did not know/remember I had the magazine on me. The securitas employee went to retrieve a county officer. Make a long story short: I was arrested on counts of havng a concealed weapon in a courthouse. Class I misdemeaner. Court trial december 11th.

    I need a good lawyer for the Fairfax County area. Please give me some numbers. thanks.

    Other questions:
    How does this affect me applying for a concealed now?
    How does his affect me carrying openly?
    Does this affect either?
    Does this disqualify me from owning a firearm in some way?

    Darrin
    Damn!! Honest mistake on your part. You really should have exited as soon as you discovered you had the magazine.

    § 18.2-283.1. Carrying weapon into courthouse.

    It shall be unlawful for any person to possess in or transport into any courthouse in this Commonwealth any (i) gun or other weapon designed or intended to propel a missile or projectile of any kind, (ii) frame, receiver, muffler, silencer, missile, projectile or ammunition designed for use with a dangerous weapon and (iii) any other dangerous weapon, including explosives, stun weapons as defined in § 18.2-308.1, and those weapons specified in subsection A of § 18.2-308. Any such weapon shall be subject to seizure by a law-enforcement officer. A violation of this section is punishable as a Class 1 misdemeanor.

    The provisions of this section shall not apply to any police officer, sheriff, law-enforcement agent or official, conservation police officer, conservator of the peace, magistrate, court officer, or judge while in the conduct of such person's official duties.



    § 18.2-308. Personal protection; carrying concealed weapons; when lawful to carry.

    .. Snipped ...

    7. An individual who has been convicted of two or more misdemeanors within the five-year period immediately preceding the application, if one of the misdemeanors was a Class 1 misdemeanor, but the judge shall have the discretion to deny a permit for two or more misdemeanors that are not Class 1. Traffic infractions and misdemeanors set forth in Title 46.2 shall not be considered for purposes of this disqualification.



    How does this affect me applying for a concealed now?

    Not a problem.... if this is your first and only Class 1 Misdemeanor



    How does his affect me carrying openly?

    Not at all. You can always carry openly



    Does this affect either?

    Not really


    Does this disqualify me from owning a firearm in some way?

    No. Only if it was a felony.

  4. #4
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    thorsmitersaw wrote:
    Make a long story short: I was arrested on counts of havng a concealed weapon in a courthouse. Class I misdemeaner. Court trial december 11th.
    Man, tough mistake. I empathize with you. Hope you can mitigate the situation.

    Thanks for sharing the experience. It may help someone else here avoid the same mistake. We all can benefit from thinking about problems like this that are shared by our membership.

  5. #5
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    thorsmitersaw wrote:
    I drove to the county clerks office today in an attempt to obtain my concealed permit. I had my gun in my car. I walked around trying to find the damn place. Walked in. Realized I had a magazine in my left coat pocket that was lodaed but not before Isstarted empting my pockets. At this point I notified the Securitas security guard. i figured it was best to go with honesty instead of trying to gather up my **** and walk back out. I did notice the sign outfront that said no weapons but apparntely ammunition is included within this law, but again I did not know/remember I had the magazine on me. The securitas employee went to retrieve a county officer. Make a long story short: I was arrested on counts of havng a concealed weapon in a courthouse. Class I misdemeaner. Court trial december 11th.

    [snip]
    Sorry to hear about the incident. One thing is for certain, you'll think twice moving forward. Might want to consider getting an ammo/magazine holster for your spare mags.

  6. #6
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    Wow. I'm surprised that they employ security gaurds? At my courthouse (when I went to fill out my CHP stuff) they had nothing but actual LEOs,...

    Anyway,sorry about the luck:?

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    I'm not a lawyer but I'd imagine they could argue that the fact that you were honest and notfied the security guard shows that you didn't intend to carry it into the courthouse. You were trying to do the right thing. Its not like you were attempting to sneak it through.

    Sounds like the rent-a-cop was being a tool. He/she could have said "Honest mistake, go put it in your car and come back in."

    Get a lawyer and good luck.

  8. #8
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    This must change now.

    Laws were never intended to punish honest people who were caught in some unusual situation such as this. If the jack-booted thugs at the courthouse cared to consider the "spirit" of the law they would have recognized your honest mistake and all would be fine. It is just sad that elected officials (e.g. police chiefs, etc.) have twisted a once honorable legal system and now LEOs act upon the "letter of the law."

    In PA they have a law on the books that provides storage of lawfully carried firearms for citizens when visiting county and state courthouses. I walk into courthouses all the time in PA carrying openly and simply check in my firearm - no biggie. We need a similar system here in VA!

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    soloban wrote:
    I'm not a lawyer but I'd imagine they could argue that the fact that you were honest and notfied the security guard shows that you didn't intend to carry it into the courthouse. You were trying to do the right thing. Its not like you were attempting to sneak it through.

    Sounds like the rent-a-cop was being a tool. He/she could have said "Honest mistake, go put it in your car and come back in."

    Get a lawyer and good luck.
    I agree that he was not trying to take in anything he knew was banned. He put it out there to be viewed and I am sure he expected to be told "Sir, This is not allowed. Take it back to your car."

    But I also feel maybe you were out of line demeaning the security guard by calling him a "rent-a-cop" and a "tool." The guy is doing EXACTLY what he is employed to do. Observed and report violations.

    For all the guard knew... this was a test to see if he was looking for obvious violations.

  10. #10
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    LEO 229 wrote:
    Damn!! Honest mistake on your part. You really should have exited as soon as you discovered you had the magazine.
    I couldnt really. I didnt realize I had it till I was dumping **** out into that little basket. I did however immidiately tell the Securitas employee though (who still has my cell phone I might add). It was not found I gave it. They did though, find a loose .45 round within my jacket pocket. I wear the coat to the range and I guess I stuck one in their at some point.

    I had my papers in hand and all, i notified employees of the situation, I didnt even realize it WAS a courthouse. I was just told to go to the county clerks office. The place doenst look like a court house from my hometown at all. Hell at first I thought it was a office building which is why I was walkin around looking for the county clerks office for 15 minutes. I dont have any record either aside from a speeding ticket or two.

    But I was looking at maximum pnishments for the class I: up to a year in the fishtank and/or up to $2500 fine. I dont expect anone will be going easy on me despite anything I said above this paragraph. My family is sorta known for bad luck, 'double trouble' - by Lynyrd Skynyrd, ought to be our theme song. So I guess I will be wearing a ugly green smock on christmas

  11. #11
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    LEO 229 wrote:
    soloban wrote:
    I'm not a lawyer but I'd imagine they could argue that the fact that you were honest and notfied the security guard shows that you didn't intend to carry it into the courthouse. You were trying to do the right thing. Its not like you were attempting to sneak it through.

    Sounds like the rent-a-cop was being a tool. He/she could have said "Honest mistake, go put it in your car and come back in."

    Get a lawyer and good luck.
    I agree that he was not trying to take in anything he knew was banned. He put it out there to be viewed and I am sure he expected to be told "Sir, This is not allowed. Take it back to your car."

    But I also feel maybe you were out of line demeaning the security guard by calling him a "rent-a-cop" and a "tool." The guy is doing EXACTLY what he is employed to do. Observed and report violations.

    For all the guard knew... this was a test to see if he was looking for obvious violations.
    Ye the Securitas guy barely spoke english, I dont think he was doing anything but his job. I can texpect him to not report someone and risk his own job. I probably wouldnt in his shoes.

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    Renegade wrote:
    This must change now.

    Laws were never intended to punish honest people who were caught in some unusual situation such as this. If the jack-booted thugs at the courthouse cared to consider the "spirit" of the law they would have recognized your honest mistake and all would be fine. It is just sad that elected officials (e.g. police chiefs, etc.) have twisted a once honorable legal system and now LEOs act upon the "letter of the law."

    In PA they have a law on the books that provides storage of lawfully carried firearms for citizens when visiting county and state courthouses. I walk into courthouses all the time in PA carrying openly and simply check in my firearm - no biggie. We need a similar system here in VA!
    Sorry ifthe police follow the letter of the law as it was written by our legislators. :X

    First.. members heresay thatcops are expected to knowALL the laws in the books! Now they are expected toNOT follow the written law but comprehendthe spirit of eachlaw and not charge people for the written version that is clear.

    The spirit can be viewed in many different ways so charging people can be a crap shoot depending on who reads it.

    And please go easy with the "Jack booted thug" comments... That is not needed here.

    If the legislators wanted "innocent" subjects to have a way out... they would have added an exemption to each code that would read:

    "This section shall not apply to anyone who is ignorant,unaware, or honest."

  13. #13
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    Hang in there. I will keep you in my prayers, I hope others do as well.

  14. #14
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    LEO 229 wrote:
    First.. members heresay thatcops are expected to knowALL the laws in the books! Now they are expected toNOT follow the written law but comprehendthe spirit of eachlaw and not charge people for the written version that is clear.
    Finally! You get it now!

    :P

    P.S. And regular citizens, especially gun guys, should be judged on intent, not what they actually do. Don't forget that one....

  15. #15
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    LEO 229 wrote:
    Sorry ifthe police follow the letter of the law as it was written by our legislators. :X

    First.. members heresay thatcops are expected to knowALL the laws in the books! Now they are expected toNOT follow the written law but comprehendthe spirit of eachlaw and not charge people for the written version that is clear.

    The spirit can be viewed in many different ways so charging people can be a crap shoot depending on who reads it.

    And please go easy with the "Jack booted thug" comments... That is not needed here.
    Spin it anyway you wish Lawman - pick whichside of the fence you will stand on - there is no middle ground.

    You have sworn to uphold the Constitution of the United States of America. Others, such as myself, have also sworn to protect the citizens of this great country against all enemies...foreign or domestic.

    T.R.I.C.

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    thorsmitersaw wrote:
    I need a good lawyer for the Fairfax County area. Please give me some numbers. thanks.
    Gun-friendly lawyers: http://www.hkshooter.net/lawyers/


    I understand. I flew to San Antonio recently. Went through security at Reagan and again at Denver International. Got to San Antonio and one round of .380 ammo fell out of my purse. Was I ever glad it had been missed - well, glad on my part, but concerned, too.

    Needless to say, it didn't fly home with me. I can afford a round if it keeps me out of federal prison <grin>.
    Laws alone can not secure freedom of expression; in order that every man present his views without penalty there must be spirit of tolerance in the entire population. -Albert Einstein

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    Tess wrote:
    thorsmitersaw wrote:
    I need a good lawyer for the Fairfax County area. Please give me some numbers. thanks.
    Gun-friendly lawyers: http://www.hkshooter.net/lawyers/


    I understand. I flew to San Antonio recently. Went through security at Reagan and again at Denver International. Got to San Antonio and one round of .380 ammo fell out of my purse. Was I ever glad it had been missed - well, glad on my part, but concerned, too.

    Needless to say, it didn't fly home with me. I can afford a round if it keeps me out of federal prison <grin>.
    wow. thanks.

    I only hope I will be able to afford a lawyer. I was arrested on a lunch break and never came back and that I will have to tell them it was because I was in the cooler. I doubt i will be able to afford one without some kind of payment plan or something if lawmen do that sort of thing.

  18. #18
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    Good luck, sucks when you try to be an honest citizen you get burned. I hope you are looked well upon the fact you tried to do the right thing.

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    Hire Robert Horan the third, he will get the charges dropped. There was no intent, thus NO crime was committed. I hope we all do a better job checking our pockets before entering prohibited places.

    Never do the "honest thing" and admit the possibility that you committed a crime.

    NEVER NEVER NEVER !

    The right to remain silent is good advise. You could have just said nothing and turned and walked out. Secured the item in your car and returned, another day even.

    I would spend the $500- $1,000 and hire counsel to get it dropped. The prosecutors office will not want to take this to trial, if you are represented by a competent litigator. The case is just too weak.

  20. #20
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    thorsmitersaw wrote:
    I drove to the county clerks office today in an attempt to obtain my concealed permit. I had my gun in my car. I walked around trying to find the damn place. Walked in. Realized I had a magazine in my left coat pocket that was lodaed but not before Isstarted empting my pockets. At this point I notified the Securitas security guard. i figured it was best to go with honesty instead of trying to gather up my **** and walk back out. I did notice the sign outfront that said no weapons but apparntely ammunition is included within this law, but again I did not know/remember I had the magazine on me. The securitas employee went to retrieve a county officer. Make a long story short: I was arrested on counts of havng a concealed weapon in a courthouse. Class I misdemeaner. Court trial december 11th.

    I need a good lawyer for the Fairfax County area. Please give me some numbers. thanks.

    Other questions:
    How does this affect me applying for a concealed now?
    How does his affect me carrying openly?
    Does this affect either?
    Does this disqualify me from owning a firearm in some way?

    Darrin




    EDIT: the two policemen who handled me were extremely unprofesional and incourteous (as my experience always seems to go) as well as the dumbass redneck magistrate who basicall told me I am gonna get shot if I carry opnely in a car if I get pulled over (to which I responded that the officer would be in gross violation of the law, to which they all responded with laughs and arrogant posturing). And thier comments while I was subjected to a strip search (but dont worry, I am never one to hold back my opnion so I did let a few choice counterpunches out) made it the most humiliating event in my entire life.

    I did speak with one lawman who was courteous but I think it may have been more to get me to calm down. The female officer in the room at first was courteuos enough to pick up my translucent guitar picks form my pockes whn the other guys refused to as they were baggin up me property. The fingerprint guy was ok too as well as the oungman who led me out of the place when my bond was paid and almost 1.5 hours passed...
    Concealed weapon? I don't think so. The gun wasn't even on you. I think they can only charge you with having the ammo. Still Class 1, of course.

  21. #21
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    LEO 229 wrote:
    § 18.2-283.1. Carrying weapon into courthouse.

    It shall be unlawful for any person to possess in or transport into any courthouse in this Commonwealth any (i) gun or other weapon designed or intended to propel a missile or projectile of any kind, (ii) frame, receiver, muffler, silencer, missile, projectile or ammunition designed for use with a dangerous weapon and (iii) any other dangerous weapon, including explosives, stun weapons as defined in § 18.2-308.1....
    Wait, he had the ammo, but not the gun. From the looks of things, he needs to have all three.

    Or maybe I'm misreading this because I'm tired.

    Edit: Also, why are car parts included in that list?
    Why open carry? Because 1911 > 911.

  22. #22
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    AbNo wrote:
    LEO 229 wrote:
    § 18.2-283.1. Carrying weapon into courthouse.

    It shall be unlawful for any person to possess in or transport into any courthouse in this Commonwealth any (i) gun or other weapon designed or intended to propel a missile or projectile of any kind, (ii) frame, receiver, muffler, silencer, missile, projectile or ammunition designed for use with a dangerous weapon and (iii) any other dangerous weapon, including explosives, stun weapons as defined in § 18.2-308.1....
    Wait, he had the ammo, but not the gun. From the looks of things, he needs to have all three.

    Or maybe I'm misreading this because I'm tired.

    Edit: Also, why are car parts included in that list?
    I read the ammo as being an offense all by itself. Nobody said gun laws had to make any sense.

  23. #23
    Founder's Club Member - Moderator longwatch's Avatar
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    No each segment is a different crime, so just having ammo gets thor hung up. Having a suppressor(muffler) would too.

    I hate seeing someone with no intent to do harm go down but the law is the law, however stupid. Hopefully a judge will be sympathetic and go easy. At least Thor didn't lose a gun and can still get a permit, vote, etc.

  24. #24
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    AbNo wrote:
    LEO 229 wrote:
    § 18.2-283.1. Carrying weapon into courthouse.

    It shall be unlawful for any person to possess in or transport into any courthouse in this Commonwealth any (i) gun or other weapon designed or intended to propel a missile or projectile of any kind, (ii) frame, receiver, muffler, silencer, missile, projectile or ammunition designed for use with a dangerous weapon and (iii) any other dangerous weapon, including explosives, stun weapons as defined in § 18.2-308.1....
    Wait, he had the ammo, but not the gun. From the looks of things, he needs to have all three.

    Or maybe I'm misreading this because I'm tired.

    Edit: Also, why are car parts included in that list?
    I agree, but lets look at the entire code section:

    It shall be unlawful for any person to possess in or transport into any courthouse in this Commonwealth any (i) gun or other weapon designed or intended to propel a missile or projectile of any kind, (ii) frame, receiver, muffler, silencer, missile, projectile or ammunition designed for use with a dangerous weapon and (iii) any other dangerous weapon, including explosives, stun weapons as defined in § 18.2-308.1, and those weapons specified in subsection A of § 18.2-308. Any such weapon shall be subject to seizure by a law-enforcement officer. A violation of this section is punishable as a Class 1 misdemeanor.

    The word "And" is between categories. Looks like maybe a legal snafu in the code. If we stick to strict adherence of the law it says "and" not "or". Sooooo, wouldn't you have to have one item from each category???? Lets say (i) a gun, (ii) ammunition and (iii) a stun weapon and those weapons specified in subsection A of § 18.2-308 (maybe a dirk).

    Then again (i) an arrow, (ii) a silencer and (iii) explosives and a (maybe a machete)????
    Revelation 1911 - And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war.

  25. #25
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    That's what I was saying, Mobee.
    Why open carry? Because 1911 > 911.

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