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Thread: Holsters in Courthouses

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    I was at the Fairfax County Courthouse today, and Ihad my holster and key chain taken as contraband. The holster is a plastic Serpa holster, and the key chain is a inert 45ACP round (only a small piece of led and brass). I was a little surprised, because I have gone through security twice before without havingeither item taken from me. I was told that the sheriffs department did not allow you to have a holster unless you were a LEO.

    I did get both items back once I left, but was just a little curious if anyone else has had the same thing happen.

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    Regular Member wylde007's Avatar
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    Wow, so now they have administratively (and therefor illegally) outlawed firearms accessories and curiosities.

    I would write a letter to the courts and CC your delegate and the AG... after January 16th, of course.
    The quiet war has begun, with silent weapons
    And the newest slavery is to keep the people poor, and stupid
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    VApatriot wrote:
    I was at the Fairfax County Courthouse today, and Ihad my holster and key chain taken as contraband. The holster is a plastic Serpa holster, and the key chain is a inert 45ACP round (only a small piece of led and brass). I was a little surprised, because I have gone through security twice before without havingeither item taken from me. I was told that the sheriffs department did not allow you to have a holster unless you were a LEO.

    I did get both items back once I left, but was just a little curious if anyone else has had the same thing happen.
    Get a tatoo of a Glock on your butt and ask them if they want to hold that!:shock:

    I had my motorcycle helmet taken at Richmond once. I knew the head internal affairs officer with the Sheriffs Department and told him about it. Didn't ever see that Deputy again. I guess he was supervising dishwashing at the Jail.

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    wylde007 wrote:
    Wow, so now they have administratively (and therefor illegally) outlawed firearms accessories and curiosities.

    I would write a letter to the courts and CC your delegate and the AG... after January 16th, of course.
    wylde007 - not everything in life is an attempt to deny your rights in the beloved Commonwealth. You really need to lose that chip on your shoulder.

    The Chief Circuit Court Judge decides (in addition to the laws on the books for things such as firearms) whatitems he will permit to be brought into the courthouse. What they say, goes. Some courts do not allow cameras, recording devices, full length umbrellas, anything that has to do with firearms, laser pointers, motorcycle helmets, cell phones, tools, and believe it or not, chewing gum. Many judges also give the Sheriff's Office discretion to deny items that they feel may be a security risk.


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    Regular Member The Wolfhound's Avatar
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    And how many of the "contraband" decisions are "Johnny on the spot" calls by the deputy? Either way some calls are stupid.
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    The Wolfhound wrote:
    And how many of the "contraband" decisions are "Johnny on the spot" calls by the deputy? Either way some calls are stupid.
    Actually, a decent number are made on the spot. A Deputy stands in the Sheriff's stead and is empowered to make decisions that he may feel important to the security of the courthouse. The security of the courthouse is one of a Sheriff's constitutional duties. When I was a court supervisor, I never questioned any of my Deputies' judgements on items that they denied entry to the courthouse. Why, you ask? Are some calls stupid, as you say?

    Ever seen someone launch a motorcycle helmet across a courtroom at a defendant who murdered their family member? I have.

    Ever seen a family member offer an impromptu kiss to an inmate and slip a cuff key into their mouth? I have. Or how about a cuff key taped to some duct tape? The family offers a goodbye hug and slaps the taped key to the inside of the inmate's shirt.

    Ever seen an inmatetamper with the lock to his holding cell in the courthouse with a wad of chewing gum? I have.

    An aerosol can of hair spray and a lighter make a greatmini-flamethrower. A cell phone slipped to an inmate can be used to plan an escape. A Motorcycle helmet can be used to conceal an escaping inmate's identity.

    Here's something from just a quick search...








    This illegal contraband was intended for a Tennessee Department of Corrections inmate who was at the Lake County courthouse for a criminal case. Two suspects were questioned about placing the contraband underneath a sink accessible to the inmates. One was released while Walter Livingston, 20, was arrested and charged with conspiracy to introduce contraband to a penal facility. The items include eight pre-paid cell phones, three packs of marijuana weighing 8 ounces, two packs of tobacco weighing 3 ounces, one MP3 player, three cell phone chargers and two packs of rolling papers.


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    ProShooter wrote:
    wylde007 - not everything in life is an attempt to deny your rights in the beloved Commonwealth. You really need to lose that chip on your shoulder.
    If it's all the same to you, I'll keep it where it is.

    Some courts do not allow cameras, recording devices, full length umbrellas, anything that has to do with firearms, laser pointers, motorcycle helmets, cell phones, tools, and believe it or not, chewing gum.
    Believe me, I am well aware of this ridiculousness. In Virginia Beach and Chesapeake I can't take my phone up to the clerk's office when I go to do deed research because it's in the "courthouse" building.

    I can't have a pocketknife, yet they have steel scissors throughout the offices.

    One particularly brilliant troll tried to tell me I couldn't bring my mechanical pencil in one time because it was a "sharp" object that could be used to stab someone. Kinda like the point on his head.
    The quiet war has begun, with silent weapons
    And the newest slavery is to keep the people poor, and stupid
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    ProShooter wrote:
    The Wolfhound wrote:
    And how many of the "contraband" decisions are "Johnny on the spot" calls by the deputy? Either way some calls are stupid.
    Actually, a decent number are made on the spot. A Deputy stands in the Sheriff's stead and is empowered to make decisions that he may feel important to the security of the courthouse. The security of the courthouse is one of a Sheriff's constitutional duties. When I was a court supervisor, I never questioned any of my Deputies' judgements on items that they denied entry to the courthouse. Why, you ask? Are some calls stupid, as you say?

    Ever seen someone launch a motorcycle helmet across a courtroom at a defendant who murdered their family member? I have.

    Ever seen a family member offer an impromptu kiss to an inmate and slip a cuff key into their mouth? I have. Or how about a cuff key taped to some duct tape? The family offers a goodbye hug and slaps the taped key to the inside of the inmate's shirt.

    Ever seen an inmatetamper with the lock to his holding cell in the courthouse with a wad of chewing gum? I have.

    An aerosol can of hair spray and a lighter make a greatmini-flamethrower. A cell phone slipped to an inmate can be used to plan an escape. A Motorcycle helmet can be used to conceal an escaping inmate's identity.

    Here's something from just a quick search...








    This illegal contraband was intended for a Tennessee Department of Corrections inmate who was at the Lake County courthouse for a criminal case. Two suspects were questioned about placing the contraband underneath a sink accessible to the inmates. One was released while Walter Livingston, 20, was arrested and charged with conspiracy to introduce contraband to a penal facility. The items include eight pre-paid cell phones, three packs of marijuana weighing 8 ounces, two packs of tobacco weighing 3 ounces, one MP3 player, three cell phone chargers and two packs of rolling papers.

    So in that case they should take belts, neck ties, shoe laces, eye glasses, etc. We'll have to go to court 'nekked'!

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    wylde007 wrote:
    One particularly brilliant troll tried to tell me I couldn't bring my mechanical pencil in one time because it was a "sharp" object that could be used to stab someone. Kinda like the point on his head.
    Is there anyone in your life for whom you have a kind word or even thesmallest amount of respect for the job that they are doing? Your posts are filled with such hostility and contempt, no matter the subject. I'd really hate to be you and have tolive through all that.
    James Reynolds

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    It would be a bit on the tough side to find anything even remotely pleasant to say about someone who wanted to take away a pencil. I'd say his description of such person is well restrained.

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    10mm wrote:
    So in that case they should take belts, neck ties, shoe laces, eye glasses, etc. We'll have to go to court 'nekked'!
    Well, common decency dictates that we do not!

    One of the keys to going to a courthouse is, if you don't absolutely need it for the purpose of your visit, don't bring it. I remember times when some woman and her 47 pound handbag would hold up a line for 20 minutes as the Deputies searched her purse. Most people have no idea what to expect or what to do when going to court.
    James Reynolds

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    Regular Member wylde007's Avatar
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    ProShooter wrote:
    I'd really hate to be you and have tolive through all that.
    It really isn't all that bad. I like to think I'm making the lives of others that much more interesting.

    I've certainly given you plenty to grouse about now, haven't I?

    Mission accomplished.

    jmelvin wrote:
    I'd say his description of such person is well restrained.
    I suddenly don't feel so alone in the world.

    :celebrate
    The quiet war has begun, with silent weapons
    And the newest slavery is to keep the people poor, and stupid
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    ProShooter wrote:
    wylde007 wrote:
    One particularly brilliant troll tried to tell me I couldn't bring my mechanical pencil in one time because it was a "sharp" object that could be used to stab someone. Kinda like the point on his head.
    Is there anyone in your life for whom you have a kind word or even thesmallest amount of respect for the job that they are doing? Your posts are filled with such hostility and contempt, no matter the subject. I'd really hate to be you and have tolive through all that.
    I would like to chime in a little bit here:
    I am reminded that the LEOs in court and on the street deal with bonafide bad guys. These are people who don't care, don't have rules to play by, don't have the same social mores and respect that we have. It gets hard when you know you are a good guy, that you have respect and will play by the rules and don't want to hurt anybody. So I can sit and worry about my rights but the LEOs have the complication of dealing with bad guys and worrying about not getting hurt and staying alive and trying to play by societies rules and not step all over my rights when they do so. I imagine the line gets blurry and hard to hold for them. It doesn't make it any better when they go to far out of line trying their damdest to catch the sneaky bad guys and mistaking the good guys for the bad guys. Its a hard line they walk, I don't think we can afford to let them trample our rights, but I can afford them respect for their job. I understand what they do and the issues and troubles that they face. So the guy with chip on his shoulder I understand, but I also understand the other side. Fortunately I still think that their are more good guys than bad guys. It would be nice if the LEOs understood that, not that they can always afford too. Sometimes though, they can't afford not too.

    I'm not sure that a holster should be taken... nothing in it, maybe you can whap somebody with it?
    When I carry a gun, I don't do so because I am looking for a fight, but because I'm looking to be left alone. The gun at my side means that I cannot be forced, only persuaded. I don't carry it because I'm afraid, but because it enables me to be unafraid. It doesn't limit the actions of those who would interact with me through reason, only the actions of those who would do so by force.

    excerpt By Marko Kloos (http://munchkinwrangler.wordpress.com/?s=major+caudill)

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    VApatriot wrote:
    I was at the Fairfax County Courthouse today, and Ihad my holster and key chain taken as contraband. The holster is a plastic Serpa holster, and the key chain is a inert 45ACP round (only a small piece of led and brass). I was a little surprised, because I have gone through security twice before without havingeither item taken from me. I was told that the sheriffs department did not allow you to have a holster unless you were a LEO.

    I did get both items back once I left, but was just a little curious if anyone else has had the same thing happen.
    I can understand the round of ammunition being seized. It may not be easy or reliable to have a guard verify that it is in fact inert before you take it inside. Or for them to be sure that you couldn't pull a MacGyver and handload it in the courthouse. The bottom line is that it's one piece to the puzzle. Security is layered and can be eroded. You get the round of ammo inside, someone else gets a small piece of a firearm inside, someone else another piece, and so on until eventually there's a usable firearm with ammunition and a holster inside the courthouse.

    Has anyone searched through the online code to find the section that grants such authority to the court? At least you weren't arrested. Attempting to take a firearm into the courthouse would be a chargeable offense, whereas taking the holster and ammunition, or a large umbrella, is simply handled such that you surrender it to the guard(s) until you leave.

    I like Pennsylvania's law regarding firearms at courthouses. The law requires that the courthouse provide lockers for your firearms so that you don't have to leave it in your car or at home.
    From 18 Pa.C.S. § 913: Possession of firearm or other dangerous weapon in court facility
    <snip>
    (e) Facilities for checking firearms or other dangerous weapons.--Each county shall make available at or within the building containing a court facility by July 1, 2002, lockers or similar facilities at no charge or cost for the temporary checking of firearms by persons carrying firearms under section 6106(b) or 6109 or for the checking of other dangerous weapons that are not otherwise prohibited by law. Any individual checking a firearm, dangerous weapon or an item deemed to be a dangerous weapon at a court facility must be issued a receipt. Notice of the location of the facility shall be posted as required under subsection (d).
    <snip>

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    There's no "attorney pass" through the security checking at the Virginia Supreme Court. The last time I was there, the trooper on duty asked me to hold my jacket open so he could check the metal in my belt buckle, which was setting off his machinery. That's when he saw my empty holster. He commented to the other trooper who was there, something like, "Hey, this guy's got an empty holster!", with ort of a "like, what's up with that" tone of voice. He asked me whether it was a protest.

    I told him, no, but I couldn't bring a gun into the courthouse, it's against the law. And besides, when I'm in the courthouse, I'm depending totally on those troopers to protect me, so I don't need anything in my holster when I'm with them.

    They liked that response.
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    By the way, nothing I say on this website as "user" should be taken as either advertising for attorney services or legal advice, merely personal opinion. Everyone having a question regarding the application of law to the facts of their situation should seek the advice of an attorney competent in the subject matter of the issues presented and licensed to practice in the relevant state.

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    virginiatuck wrote:
    VApatriot wrote:
    I was at the Fairfax County Courthouse today, and Ihad my holster and key chain taken as contraband. The holster is a plastic Serpa holster, and the key chain is a inert 45ACP round (only a small piece of led and brass). I was a little surprised, because I have gone through security twice before without havingeither item taken from me. I was told that the sheriffs department did not allow you to have a holster unless you were a LEO.

    I did get both items back once I left, but was just a little curious if anyone else has had the same thing happen.
    Attempting to take a firearm into the courthouse would be a chargeable offense, whereas taking the holster and ammunition, or a large umbrella, is simply handled such that you surrender it to the guard(s) until you leave.
    Ammunition is likewise illegal to bring into a Courthouse...



    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.


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    ProShooter wrote:
    virginiatuck wrote:
    VApatriot wrote:
    I was at the Fairfax County Courthouse today, and Ihad my holster and key chain taken as contraband. The holster is a plastic Serpa holster, and the key chain is a inert 45ACP round (only a small piece of led and brass). I was a little surprised, because I have gone through security twice before without havingeither item taken from me. I was told that the sheriffs department did not allow you to have a holster unless you were a LEO.

    I did get both items back once I left, but was just a little curious if anyone else has had the same thing happen.
    Attempting to take a firearm into the courthouse would be a chargeable offense, whereas taking the holster and ammunition, or a large umbrella, is simply handled such that you surrender it to the guard(s) until you leave.
    Ammunition is likewise illegal to bring into a Courthouse...



    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.

    Ah, that's what I get for not checking the code... normally I review it before I post...

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    Founder's Club Member Tess's Avatar
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    Action this week - holsters in (Fairfax) courthouse (again)

    Bumping an old thread, but another person was turned away this week for carrying an empty leather holster at Fairfax County Courthouse.

    I spoke today with Lt Eli Rejeiling. He has spoken with the (contract) security force and their supervisor and believes the issue is cleared up. He invited me to contact him directly if anyone else has a problem.

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    Campaign Veteran Dutch Uncle's Avatar
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    Nice work, Tess. I know you're not a "chip on the shoulder" person, and you get the job done with no fanfare. I like the cut of your jib.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ProShooter View Post
    virginiatuck wrote:

    Ammunition is likewise illegal to bring into a Courthouse...



    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.
    Thanks, Tess, for staying on top of this and getting them to admitt that what they are doing is not necessary.

    However, bringing this thread (which I had quite forgotten about) back to life has made me a little annoyed. I am still a bit mad that they made me give up my keychain when I entered. The little piece of brass and lead I had with me clearly did not in any way meet the definition of a weapon or ammunition that is cited above, and, if the security people were properly trained, it would have taken all of 2 seconds to see that. Instead, they took several extra minutes with me so that they could remove the dumby round from the rest of my keys and then tag my property.

    This is yet another example of government inefficiency at work.

  21. #21
    Founder's Club Member Tess's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by VApatriot View Post
    Thanks, Tess, for staying on top of this and getting them to admitt that what they are doing is not necessary.

    However, bringing this thread (which I had quite forgotten about) back to life has made me a little annoyed. I am still a bit mad that they made me give up my keychain when I entered. The little piece of brass and lead I had with me clearly did not in any way meet the definition of a weapon or ammunition that is cited above, and, if the security people were properly trained, it would have taken all of 2 seconds to see that. Instead, they took several extra minutes with me so that they could remove the dumby round from the rest of my keys and then tag my property.

    This is yet another example of government inefficiency at work.
    Agreed. If something like this were to happen again, just step out of line and ask them to call a representative from the Sheriff's office. The contract security guards will simply do as they (think they are) told. A deputy will usually clear it up immediately.
    Last edited by Tess; 09-03-2011 at 06:08 PM. Reason: correct typo

  22. #22
    Accomplished Advocate peter nap's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nova View Post
    so holsters are ok now?

    They had everyone removing their belts before going through the metal detectors, .
    Kinda skiddish up there!

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    Quote Originally Posted by VApatriot View Post
    However, bringing this thread (which I had quite forgotten about) back to life has made me a little annoyed. I am still a bit mad that they made me give up my keychain when I entered. The little piece of brass and lead I had with me clearly did not in any way meet the definition of a weapon or ammunition that is cited above, and, if the security people were properly trained, it would have taken all of 2 seconds to see that. Instead, they took several extra minutes with me so that they could remove the dumby round from the rest of my keys and then tag my property.

    This is yet another example of government inefficiency at work.
    Having spent a fair amount of time working in jails and courthouses, I can say with absolute certainty that your assessment of their security procedures is dead wrong and they had every right to take your dummy round/key chain.

    I don't mean this to be rude, but what you think that you know about their job and whether or not they were properly trained, well....you don't know. As a former court supervisor, I would have expected my people to confiscate that item as well.
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    Wonder if i-Kam recording eyeglasses would pass muster in Fairfax. Especially if they had prescription lens inserts.
    Daily carry: SIG P229 .40 S&W

  25. #25
    Accomplished Advocate peter nap's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Felix View Post
    Wonder if i-Kam recording eyeglasses would pass muster in Fairfax. Especially if they had prescription lens inserts.
    Probably!

    I've never had anyone even look twice at mine but before you get any ideas, if you video the inside of the courtroom and the Judge finds out...Expect to spend some time with Bubba for contempt.

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