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Thread: OC in courthouse not solely devoted to court proceedings

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    I'm fairly certain, I need to dig up the KRS again, that one can open carry into a courthouse that isn't devoted solely to court proceedings. In other words, if there are other state services offered in a building, I can OC, I just can't take it into the actual courtrooms.

    Can anyone affirm this? I'm not looking for personal opinions here, just the actual law.

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    I came up with 237.110, though I think there's another one too. http://www.lrc.ky.gov/KRS/237-00/115.PDF

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    My money says that if I show up with an OC gun of any type at the Hardin County Courthouse to renew my driver license the sheriff's deputies at the metal detector will not let me in. When there on jury duty a few months ago I had to surrender my Buck pocket knife and nail clippers.

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    Yeah but that's just the problem, if you go by the KRS, if other state offices are in the same building then they aren't supposed to be denying OC entry. I had it out with three sheriffs deputies at the courthouse and then went and complained directly to a CO at the sheriff's office about it and his official stance centered around this;

    http://www.handgunlaw.us/documents/a...YAGOp96_40.pdf

    Which succeeded in making me aware of a real problem for Kentuckians and their 2A.

    The Kentucky Supreme Court decided, that despite the Kentucky Constitution stating that the General Assembly only has the right to regulate concealed arms, because felons and minors aren't allowed to have deadly weapons at all, the right to bear arms CAN be regulated by the General Assembly!!

    How idiotic is that? Minors and felons aren't allowed deadly weapons because they have a propensity towards irresponsibly and that's why they don't have rights. Minor's don't get them until the age of 18 and felons loose them, but they misconstrued that into the state being able to reasonably regulate OC for EVERYONE! Completely ignoring our constitutional provision without an amendment.

    Kentucky Constitution Section 1, Seventh ~ The right to bear arms in defense of themselves and of the State, subject to the power of the General Assembly to enact laws to prevent persons from carrying concealed weapons. Everyone would read that as to mean that they cannot regulate OC in this state, but that's not the case since 1983 when the Kentucky Supreme Court acted irresponsibly and ignored the TRUE reason why minors and felons cannot have deadly weapons.

    So if that determination, which is a misguided and irresponsible use of case law, can trump every other KRS defining the scope of open possession of a deadly weapon (by omission or not), even when I can't find it written as law, where does it stop? In 1983 they knocked the legs right out from under our constitution and apparently no one knows about it.

    That report, concerning possession on post secondary property, unequivocally denies you to even have a gun in your car.

    They cite that the schools have the same rights as private property owners, despite that they are partially funded by tax dollars. Even though your employer, any store you go to and even an individual person CANNOT deny you having a firearm in your car on their property, post secondary schools CAN, is anyone seeing the severe inconsistency here?

    But back to my original post, OAG 97-9 which came out AFTER OAG 96_40, states in the text;


    We recognize access to county offices and local courts may as a practical matter be obtained
    through shared building entrances and hallways. We can find no authority, however, for the
    proposition that local courts may ban deadly weapons in county offices located in the same
    courthouse or courthouse annex as those local courts
    . Indeed, we note that ownership, operation,
    and maintenance of a county courthouse, generally, are county functions. KRS 26A.090(6);
    26A.110; 26A.130; 67.080(2)(b); 67.130.
    Of course, the legislative body of a county may act pursuant to KRS 237.115 to prohibit those
    who are licensed to carry concealed deadly weapons from carrying concealed deadly weapons in
    portions of buildings owned, leased or controlled by the county. See OAG 96-39. Additionally, a
    license to carry a concealed deadly weapon does not authorize the licensee to carry a concealed
    deadly weapon into a police station or sheriff's office, a detention facility or jail, or a meeting of
    the governing body of the county. KRS 237.110(12)(a), (b), and (d). Finally, with respect to the
    authority of the county to prohibit the open carrying of deadly weapons in a courthouse or
    courthouse annex, we note the ordinance prohibition embodied in KRS 65.870 extends only to
    “any part of the field of regulation of the transfer, ownership, possession, carrying or
    transportation of firearms, ammunition, or components of firearms or combination thereof.”

    (Emphasis added.)

    So in other words, you can OC a firearm into a state office located in the court house, period. Even the Attorney General confirms it in that report, but I was denied entry. I intend to take a copy of the report to the Sheriff's office and see what he says about it then, they're supposed to either let me in the next time I have business there or clear the office's on the first floor so as to make the building solely for court proceedings.

    What I've pointed out in this post about the Supreme Court's ruling should be ******* everyone off, your supposed OC right is anything but in Kentucky if they so decide that "a reasonable regulation in a gun control law is a valid exercise of the police power of the Commonwealth prescribing for the good order and protection of its citizens" and they have. Right now, they LET you OC in public, but without "reasonable" being defined, they can take it away if THEY decide they have a good reason.

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    I'm not following you, what court ruling are you referring to?

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    langzaiguy wrote:
    I'm not following you, what court ruling are you referring to?
    Quoted from the link,

    "In Eary v. Commonwealth, Ky., 659 S.W.2d 198 (1983), however, the Kentucky Supreme Court expressly recognized that the right to bear arms is subject to the state’s reasonable exercise of its inherent police powers to protect the public health and safety."


    Without defining "reasonable exercise" more explicitly, that opened it up to interpretation which is what is going on here;

    http://www.handgunlaw.us/documents/a...YAGOp96_40.pdf

    The Attorney General's office, voiced the opinion (I'm assuming of the General Assembly, I'm still nailing down the hierarchy and procedures) that the bearing of arms is NOT absolute and can be regulated by the General Assembly despite the wording in our Constitution.

    Does that mean that in a state of emergency they can ignore the KRS specifically prohibiting that very act in the name of "reasonable exercise of police power" and prevent you from OCing?

    Does that mean that more and more locations will be off limits to firearms. Already one can't even carry a firearm in their glovebox at a post secondary school when you can do it anywhere else and we can't take them into a building or stadium that is under control or lease by the Kentucky State Fair Board.

    There is a distinction made between a building that JUST houses court proceedings and one that has other state offices in it. The first one you can't take a gun into, which even I believe that some provisions need to be made. The other, you can OC a firearm only, you just can't take it into the courtrooms.

    However my experience was one where I wasn't allowed to OC my firearm into just such a courthouse. It amazes me how ignorant some LEOs have been so far to the law. One sheriff tried to tell me I couldn't carry in ANY government building to which I replied that one can carry into state buildings and what she was thinking of were federal buildings. You could tell right then from the look on her face she was dumbfounded, like she was spreading some rhetoric she had heard from her superiors. I thought the LE was supposed to be informed about the gun laws in Kentucky.

    So where's the next place the General Assembly wants to leave us powerless to stop an attacker?

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    To be quite honest, I do believe there are limits on the 2nd amendment just like there are on the 1st. The point of Eary v. Commonwealth was to establish the constitutionality of restricting felons' 2nd amendment rights.

    OAG 96-40 of course states that state universities may ban guns (though it is not criminalized).

    True, OC and CC are not universal rights in KY. It's certainly more limited than I would like. That being said, comparatively, I think KY is more hospitable to guns & liberty than just about any other state.

    KRS 237.104 protects gun ownership in times of emergency.

    In KY, you are also allowed to carry a firearm in your vehicle on school premises--it just can't leave the vehicle.

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    @Gutshot, I understand how you're reading Section 1 of the Constitution. The KY Court of Appeals ruling in Holland v. Commonwealth ruled, if I read it right, that the legislature can ONLY regulate CC.

    http://www.kc3.com/Holland%20v%20Commonwealth.htm

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    gutshot wrote:
    Unfettered Might wrote:
    Yeah but that's just the problem, if you go by the KRS, if other state offices are in the same building then they aren't supposed to be denying OC entry. I had it out with three sheriffs deputies at the courthouse and then went and complained directly to a CO at the sheriff's office about it and his official stance centered around this;

    http://www.handgunlaw.us/documents/a...YAGOp96_40.pdf
    I really don't understand. Are you or the Sheriff saying that the courthouse is part of a university? This AGO pertains to the University of Louisville not courthouses. This guy is way off the mark and is headed for trouble.

    One more thing. I keep reading this over and over and we all need to understand. Kentucky Constitution Section 1, Seventh says "The right to bear arms in defense of themselves and of the State, subject to the power of the General Assembly to enact laws to prevent persons from carrying concealed weapons." The word "only" does not appear in that sentence. It does not say,The right to bear arms in defense of themselves and of the State, subject to the power of the General Assembly to only enact laws to only prevent persons from only carrying concealed weapons. I personally believe we have that right, but we must be able to back it up with something better than that.
    Two different but related issues. I should have clarified, his stance was based around the assertion that the right to bear arms isn't absolute in that paper. However, it also goes on to state exactly what I thought was the case regarding OC in some courthouses.

    I'm sorry gutshot, but it's just to obvious to me reading, ""The right to bear arms in defense of themselves and of the State, subject to the power of the General Assembly to enact laws to prevent persons from carrying concealed weapons."

    They would have just said "weapons" instead of "concealed weapons", OC was not meant to be regulated by simple exclusion in the text.


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    gutshot wrote:
    Unfettered Might wrote:
    gutshot wrote:
    Unfettered Might wrote:
    Yeah but that's just the problem, if you go by the KRS, if other state offices are in the same building then they aren't supposed to be denying OC entry. I had it out with three sheriffs deputies at the courthouse and then went and complained directly to a CO at the sheriff's office about it and his official stance centered around this;

    http://www.handgunlaw.us/documents/a...YAGOp96_40.pdf
    I really don't understand. Are you or the Sheriff saying that the courthouse is part of a university? This AGO pertains to the University of Louisville not courthouses. This guy is way off the mark and is headed for trouble.

    One more thing. I keep reading this over and over and we all need to understand. Kentucky Constitution Section 1, Seventh says "The right to bear arms in defense of themselves and of the State, subject to the power of the General Assembly to enact laws to prevent persons from carrying concealed weapons." The word "only" does not appear in that sentence. It does not say,The right to bear arms in defense of themselves and of the State, subject to the power of the General Assembly to only enact laws to only prevent persons from only carrying concealed weapons. I personally believe we have that right, but we must be able to back it up with something better than that.
    Two different but related issues. I should have clarified, his stance was based around the assertion that the right to bear arms isn't absolute in that paper. However, it also goes on to state exactly what I thought was the case regarding OC in some courthouses.

    I'm sorry gutshot, but it's just to obvious to me reading, ""The right to bear arms in defense of themselves and of the State, subject to the power of the General Assembly to enact laws to prevent persons from carrying concealed weapons."

    They would have just said "weapons" instead of "concealed weapons", OC was not meant to be regulated by simple exclusion in the text.
    Again no "only". This is exactly what you'll hear from an "anti", be ready for it. I do believe the right exists, just don't believe this is the best way to demonstrate it. Any reading of statues require us to rurn off our brain and read the black print on the white paper without adding or removing anything. Why? Because that's what a judge should do, and a good one will do. Guessing that something was left out or added for some particular reason can lead to the wrong conclusion. The fact is the General Assembly has enacted laws to prevent carrying weapons. No possession in a jail, prison, school, and bar, if loaded. I agree with some of these. So you see they can do it, because they have done it. They just don't do it very often or without good reason. And that brings us to "strict scrutiny", but that's too long and complicated to get into here. And, by the way, I agree with your sheriff, it's not absolute and I agree with you, you can carry in the courthouse, just not the courtroom.
    I do agree it shouldn't be absolute in places such as a court of law or a detention center. Also, the sad truth of the matter is although everyone has the right to carry (barring juveniles, felons or domestic abusers, etc), I don't believe that everyone SHOULD have a gun. Some people just don't have a good head on their shoulders or are too short tempered, unfortunately it's impossible to sort those out and you don't punish the many over the few.

    I only read the exact content of the text, it's the AG that is making assumptions and your right he did try to take that case law apart a bit because it didn't fit his personal opinion. I can see the point, but I fear that strict scrutiny may fall to the wayside over "the greater good" one day and that is unacceptable.

    I guess I should rest easy knowing that it would come before the Supreme Court if such a thing were to occur and given the previous determination, it should not stand.

    As far as the Sheriff denying me entry, I'm going to take a copy of the AGO to him and see what he says then. If I can't get him to allow me in still, I'll write a complaint to the AG.

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    gutshot wrote:
    Unfettered Might wrote:
    I do agree it shouldn't be absolute in places such as a court of law or a detention center. Also, the sad truth of the matter is although everyone has the right to carry (barring juveniles, felons or domestic abusers, etc), I don't believe that everyone SHOULD have a gun. Some people just don't have a good head on their shoulders or are too short tempered, unfortunately it's impossible to sort those out and you don't punish the many over the few.

    I only read the exact content of the text, it's the AG that is making assumptions and your right he did try to take that case law apart a bit because it didn't fit his personal opinion. I can see the point, but I fear that strict scrutiny may fall to the wayside over "the greater good" one day and that is unacceptable.

    I guess I should rest easy knowing that it would come before the Supreme Court if such a thing were to occur and given the previous determination, it should not stand.

    As far as the Sheriff denying me entry, I'm going to take a copy of the AGO to him and see what he says then. If I can't get him to allow me in still, I'll write a complaint to the AG.
    What your sheriff is doing has nothing to do with the power of the General Assemby to regulate firearms. The General Assembly has not banned the carrying of firearms in your courthouse, he has and he is a county official. Counties (and therefore county officials) are preempted from entering the field of firearm possession by statute. The General Assembly has not prohibited the carrying of firearms in courthouses it has prohibited the conduct he is engaged in.
    I would think the best course of action would be to get yourstate senator andrep. involved. A few phone calls/letters to Frankfort would definetly be in order.
    He that would make his own liberty secure, must guard even his enemy from oppression; for if he violates this duty, he establishes a precedent which will reach to himself. -- Thomas Paine (1737--1809), Dissertation on First Principles of Government, 1795

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    The local fiscal court is the only local authority who is able to regulate firearm carry. Even then, they can only regulate CC in public buildings. Also, if it was the Sheriff and not a regular deputy, you might even mention that next election you will vote for someone who actually knows the law and doesn't abuse power.

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    langzaiguy wrote:
    The local fiscal court is the only local authority who is able to regulate firearm carry. Even then, they can only regulate CC in public buildings. Also, if it was the Sheriff and not a regular deputy, you might even mention that next election you will vote for someone who actually knows the law and doesn't abuse power.
    +1000 !
    He that would make his own liberty secure, must guard even his enemy from oppression; for if he violates this duty, he establishes a precedent which will reach to himself. -- Thomas Paine (1737--1809), Dissertation on First Principles of Government, 1795

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