Results 1 to 13 of 13

Thread: Can't carry into the courthouse

  1. #1
    Regular Member
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Hiltons, Virginia, USA
    Posts
    73

    Post imported post

    Maybe someone out there can answer this question. Is it illegal to carry into the courthouse in Abingdon, VA? I noticed that when I took one of my foster kids to the courthouse for a hearing that there are armed county deputies at the door with metal detectors, a big sign saying that weapons are banned and will be confiscated, etc. You now can't carry firearms, knives etc into the courthouse and they even made me turn my Dell Axim handheld computer on and demonstrate how it worked before they would let me in.

    I was under the impression that you could carry anywhere in the commonwealth. I was further reminded of this with the new NRA email that came out with this in it:

    Senate Bill 300, introduced by Senator Mary Margaret Whipple (D-31), which would authorize any locality to ban the possession of firearms in government buildings.

    This seems to suggest that it is now legal to carry into government buildings (of which I thought that the courthouse was one)and that is in jeopardy. I also noticed that the county sherriff's building has a sign that prohibits firearms.

    Could someone clue me in on the laws? Thanks.





  2. #2
    Regular Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    arlington,va, ,
    Posts
    387

    Post imported post

    http://law.justia.com/virginia/codes...8.2-283.1.html

    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...


    "I was under the impression that you could carry anywhere in the commonwealth"

    You should research this some if you plan to carry, there are place in VA besides courthouses that you can not carry.

  3. #3
    Campaign Veteran Dutch Uncle's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Virginia, USA
    Posts
    1,715

    Post imported post

    The concealed carry law lists a number of public places off-limits to guns, including schools, VCU's campus, courthouses, jails. These restrictions are part of the CCW statute itself. Localities can no longer add to that list because of pre-emption. The law Whipple wants would again allow localities the authority to recreate the patchwork quilt of differing restrictions on carrying guns. I'll be very surprised if it gets anywhere, as it is another solution in search of a problem. Perhaps she was asleep when the general assembly explained why pre-emption was needed in the first place.

  4. #4
    Regular Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Huntsville, Alabama, USA
    Posts
    255

    Post imported post

    mkl wrote:
    http://law.justia.com/virginia/codes...8.2-283.1.html

    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...


    "I was under the impression that you could carry anywhere in the commonwealth"

    You should research this some if you plan to carry, there are place in VA besides courthouses that you can not carry.
    +1

    Courthouses are a no-go. Some courthouses I believe have lockers for storage of weapons but they may just be for LEO's. I'd call before attempting to walk in with one.

    Someone a few months back got arrested under this statute. Short story is that he left his weapon in the vehicle but forgot to remove the magazine from his pocket. He remembered while he was emptying the change from his pocket prior to passing through the metal detectors. He notifed the contracted security guard who summoned a sherriffs deputy who arrested him. I don't recall the outcome of his case.

  5. #5
    Regular Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Yorktown, VA, ,
    Posts
    270

    Post imported post

    What is truly sad is that here is a excellent example of first-rate, law abiding men, contemplating exactly where they can or can not travel while carrying a perfectly legal – and constitutionally protected piece of property, based upon some abstract law the protects none, and entraps only the honest.

    The way I look at it, we should be able to carry any damn place we wish. If for some idiotic reason the government does not trust law abiding citizens to carry in a particular place such as the court house - we should be able to walk in. And when the firearm is detected THEY should provide us with the option of either returning without the firearm or THEY must offer to safely store our property while we visit.

    Upstanding men such as we should not walk in fear of crossing some imaginary line drawn by some fool that has the potential to turn our otherwise fine life into a pure hell for us and ours.

    Change is long past due.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  6. #6
    Regular Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    , , USA
    Posts
    251

    Post imported post

    With the advent and accessibility of the metro and public transportation, I don't understand why government buildings that prohibit carrying of firearms aren't required to provide places to store them during the duration of your stay.

    If I'm running around doing A, B, C, and D via the metro and C involves swinging by the Arlington Judicial Center and pulling some records, heaven have mercy on me if I'm carrying. I'll have to reschedule my entire day and reschedule item C to be on one of my "I'm not carrying to get things done in prohibited areas" days.

  7. #7
    Regular Member
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Hiltons, Virginia, USA
    Posts
    73

    Post imported post

    mkl wrote:
    http://law.justia.com/virginia/codes...8.2-283.1.html

    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...


    "I was under the impression that you could carry anywhere in the commonwealth"

    You should research this some if you plan to carry, there are place in VA besides courthouses that you can not carry.
    Sorry. I misspoke. I was completely aware that there are some limitations of carry in VA. Schools, federal buildings, etc. But when I read the quoted text in the email that I received, it appeared that you could carry in a courthouse now and that was in danger of being taken away.

    I must confess, I very rarely open carry so I also have to add places that serve alcohol. But that's o.k. 'cause I don't eat at restaraunts that have a bar and try to avoid places that serve alcohol all together.

    I will most likely be open carrying more now, though. I go to pick up my new Kimber Custom II 1911 in about 2 hours, so I will probably be OC'ing that one more than my J-frame revolver.

    So if you see someone in the Bristol area with a Kimber in a Blackhawk Serpa holster, it may be me. So say "Hi!"

    Thanks for the help guys and sorry for the confusion.

  8. #8
    Regular Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Mag-bayonettes!, Virginia, USA
    Posts
    1,407

    Post imported post

    soloban wrote:
    Courthouses are a no-go.* Some courthouses I believe have lockers for storage of weapons but they may just be for LEO's.* I'd call before attempting to walk in with one.

    Someone a few months back got arrested under this statute.* Short story is that he left his weapon in the vehicle but forgot to remove the magazine from his pocket.* He remembered while he was emptying the change from his pocket prior to passing through the metal detectors.* He notifed the contracted security guard who summoned a sherriffs deputy who arrested him.* I don't recall the outcome of his case.
    Seriously watch this. I've found the thread soloban...
    http://opencarry.mywowbb.com/forum54...4.html#p107481
    $250 fine, and 30 days suspended jail. He said he might appeal, I just bumped it to ask.
    -Unrequited

  9. #9
    Regular Member paramedic70002's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Franklin, VA, Virginia, USA
    Posts
    1,448

    Post imported post

    Since courthouses often contain much more than courtrooms, it would be nice if the wording were changed to "courtroom."
    "Each worker carried his sword strapped to his side." Nehemiah 4:18

    Guns Save Lives. Paramedics Save Lives. But...
    Paramedics With Guns Scare People!

  10. #10
    Regular Member
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Burke/Blacksburg, Virginia, USA
    Posts
    998

    Post imported post

    Since we're on the topic of courthouses, I would like to knowifanyone is aware of a place or procedure for us dumb smucks(non LEOs) tocheck our firearm(s) at the Fairfax County courthouse or any other courthouse in the state. I assume there is a place to check firearms, becauseall the LEOs who are not on duty at the courthouse have empty holsters, and I do not believe they would leave their duty weapons in their vehicles.

    Ifthere isnot, it sure seems like there shouldbe onemade readily available, so that we are not forced to putourselves at risk of victimization in a parking lot or putour firearms at risk of theft because they require us to disarm before entering past the metal detectors.

  11. #11
    Moderator / Administrator Grapeshot's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    North Chesterfield, Va.
    Posts
    34,602

    Post imported post

    Somewhere I have read that if the courthouse is not 100% utilized by the courts, has other offices to which the general public would normally require access, then these restrictions cannot apply to the entire building. It may have been an appellate court ruling. I will see if I can locate it - any help would be appreciated.

    I know that Chesterfield has metal detectors at the main door which stops/controls many things including weapons even if you are only going to the clerk's office or reseaching a deed.

    Yata hey
    You will not rise to the occasion; you will fall back on your level of training. Archilochus, 650 BC

    Old and treacherous will beat young and skilled every time. Yata hey.

  12. #12
    Campaign Veteran skidmark's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    North Chesterfield VA
    Posts
    10,682

    Post imported post

    Grapeshot wrote:
    Somewhere I have read that if the courthouse is not 100% utilized by the courts, has other offices to which the general public would normally require access, then these restrictions cannot apply to the entire building. It may have been an appellate court ruling. I will see if I can locate it - any help would be appreciated.

    I know that Chesterfield has metal detectors at the main door which stops/controls many things including weapons even if you are only going to the clerk's office or reseaching a deed.

    Yata hey
    It was right here: http://opencarry.mywowbb.com/forum54/5830-12.html








    Edit


    Quote


    Reply


    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.

    (1988, c. 615; 2004, c. 995; 2007, cc. 87, 519.)

    But see the definition of "courthouse" by the Virginia Supreme Court:




    722 BD. OF SUPERVISORS v. COM. OF ACCOUNTS, 215 VA. 722.


    Opinion.


    Richmond


    THE BOARD OF SUPERVISORS OF LEE COUNTY V. EDGAR


    BACON, COMMISSIONER OF ACCOUNTS


    OF LEE COUNTY.


    April 28, 1975.


    Record No. 740711.


    Present, All the Justices.

    Cities, Counties and Towns — Commissioner of Accounts — Office Space

    Assignment.

    Commissioner of Accounts is entitled to an office in the courthouse only if space is available. Only that portion of building appointed for use of circuit court constitutes courthouse.
    [emphasis added]
    Board of Supervisors controls use and occupancy of all other parts of building, and Board has the statutory power and authority to relocate the office of the Commissioner.


    Error to a judgment of the Circuit Court of Lee County. Hon. Glyn R. Phillips, judge designate presiding.

    Reversed and final judgment

    Gary Scott Bradshaw (Bradshaw & Bradshaw, on brief), for plaintiff in error.

    Cecil D. Quillen (Quillen & Carter, on brief), for defendant in error.

    I'Anson, C.J., delivered the opinion of the court.

    On May 29, 1972, the Board of Supervisors of Lee County (Board) adopted a plan to effect eight different office changes in the county courthouse building. Under the plan Edgar Bacon, Commissioner of Accounts of Lee County (Commissioner), was to vacate the office space he occupies in the courthouse building and he was given the option of moving to space either in another part of the building or in the basement of the county jail. The Commissioner refused to move his office, and the Board instituted this action to obtain possession of the space. The Commissioner asserted in his answer that the Board was without authority to direct him to vacate his present office space because he performed quasi-judicial functions and the office had been assigned to him by an order entered by the judge of the circuit court on March 3,1958.

    The record shows the parties agreed that the pleadings and exhibits filed constitute all "the evidence needed by the court in the determination of the issues." Thereupon both parties moved for summary judgment. The trial court overruled the Board's motion and entered summary judgment for the Commissioner on the ground that the order entered by the judge of the circuit court in March 1958 was valid and still in force and effect.

    The sole issue before us is whether the Board possesses, the statutory power and authority to relocate the office of the Commissioner.

    Code § 15.1-258, as amended, provides in part:

    "The governing body of each county and city shall, if there be offices in the courthouses of the respective counties and cities available for such purposes, provide offices for the treasurer, attorney for the Commonwealth, sheriff, commissioner of the revenue, commissioner of accounts and division superintendent of schools for such county or city."

    The predecessor of this statute was interpreted in Egerton v.Hopewell, 193 Va. 493, 69 S.E.2d 326 (1952).

    In Egerton, the city of Hopewell constructed a municipal building which was to house a courtroom, judge's chambers, jury room, conference or witness room, and offices of the administrative agencies of the city. Egerton was the city sergeant, who performed the duties of sheriff, and he occupied an office in the building. The city directed Egerton to vacate the office and assigned him space in the city jail. He refused to move, contending that he was entitled, under the provisions of Code § 15-689 (now Code § 15.1-258, as amended) to an office, if available, in the courthouse. Egerton asserted that since the municipal building housed the courtroom, court offices and judge's chambers, the entire building was the courthouse and that, even if the entire building was not the courthouse, he was entitled to office space in the building. In affirming the judgment of the trial court directing the sergeant to vacate his office in the municipal building, we held that the building was not in its entirety the courthouse; that only that portion of the building appointed for the use of the circuit court constituted the courthouse
    [emphasis added]
    ; and that the council of the city of Hopewell was authorized and empowered to control the use and occupancy of all other parts of the building.


    The present case is controlled by our holding in Egerton. Here the undisputed facts show that the courthouse building, as in Egerton, was occupied jointly by the circuit court and various county officials and employees, and the office occupied by the Commissioner was not located in that part of the building appointed for the use and occupancy of the circuit court.

    Only that part of the courthouse building necessary for the use and occupancy of the circuit court constituted the courthouse
    [emphasis added]
    , and the court has control over the assignment of space in such area. The governing body of the county has control of the use and occupancy of all other areas of the building. Thus, the 1958 order of the circuit court assigning office space to the Commissioner in that part of the building which did not constitute the courthouse was not binding. Moreover, to hold that the court had the authority and power to assign offices to certain county officials in the courthouse building would nullify the provisions of Code § 15.1-258, which require the governing body of the county to provide the Commissioner and other officials named in the statute with offices in the courthouse, if space is available.


    Code § *15.1-258 reflects the plain intent of the legislature that the commissioner of accounts be entitled to an office in the courthouse only if space is available. If the legislature had intended that the county be required to provide an office in that part of the building constituting the courthouse for the commissioner of accounts it would have so provided in Code § 15.1-257, which mandates the governing body of every county to provide a courthouse with suitable space and facilities to accommodate their courts of record and offices for its clerks.

    Dawley v. City of Norfolk, 159 F.Supp. 642 (E.D.Va. 1958), relied upon by the Commissioner and the court below, is distinguishable on its facts. There, the courthouse building was used exclusively by State courts and judges and did not house both judicial and municipal offices. Supervisors of Bedford v. Wingfield, 68 Va. (27 Graft.) 329 (1876), and Belvin v. City of Richmond, 85 Va. 574, 8 S.E. 378, 1 L.R.A. 807 (1888), cited in Dawley, supra, are also distinguishable on their facts.

    The Commissioner further argues that if we hold that the trial court erred in entering summary judgment for him, the case should be remanded to permit him to present evidence that the Board abused its discretion in directing him to change the location of his office. We do not agree. That was not an issue in the court below or before us.

    For the reasons stated, we hold that the Board possesses the statutory power and authority to relocate the office of the Commissioner, and that the trial court erred in not sustaining the Board's motion for summary judgment and in entering summary judgment for the Commissioner.

    The judgment of the court below is reversed, and final judgment is here entered for the Board.

    Reversed and final judgment.

    *§ 15.2-1639. Providing offices for various officers, judges, etc.

    [/quote][/size][/font]

    stay safe.



    skidmark



    "He'll regret it to his dying day....if ever he lives that long."----The Quiet Man

    Because stupidity isn't a race, and everybody can win.

    "No matter how much contempt you have for the media in all this, you don't have enough"
    ----Allahpundit

  13. #13
    Moderator / Administrator Grapeshot's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    North Chesterfield, Va.
    Posts
    34,602

    Post imported post

    Skidmark - appreciate the link and reference.

    My thrust here is that it is probably not legal to stop weapons at the main entrance to a court house not used 100% by the courts - as in Chesterfield and I suspect others. It would take deeper pockets than mine to test it though. I have come close with back-up reloads in my pocket for my BUG - but fortunately remembered before entering the door.

    The decision referred to in Skidmarks posting above would seem to support this through case law.


    Yata hey
    You will not rise to the occasion; you will fall back on your level of training. Archilochus, 650 BC

    Old and treacherous will beat young and skilled every time. Yata hey.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •