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Thread: Court House Weapon Ban

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    Regular Member Hollowpoint38's Avatar
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    I have been told by several people that we can take our guns in a court house. A judge may ban them in his court room, but not the court house itself.

    Can anyone site the law on this?

    If it is legal, why do the police search you as you go in. Empty pockets, go through metal detector, swiped with detector wand, and they even have a sign saying "no guns or knives allowed".

    Isn't a court house public property? If it is, why are our rights taken away as we enter?

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    I don't know the law on it. I've heard it's legal, but not advisable, and rightfully so.

    Most OC arguments are notably worthwhile. This one, I do not think so. It doesn't matter if you have legal standing or not. There is literally no way to win that argument.

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    I am a retired LEO from the City of Gadsden.
    I am currently in charge of the City of Gadsden's Building Security Force. (All Retired Gadsden Officers)
    Judge King (City Judge) signed an order prohibiting bringing weapons into City Hall (about 2 years ago. We began scanning packages, and having everyone pass thru a metal detector at the front entrance to City Hall.
    The Judges order has the effect of law... it prohibits guns, knives and other weapons. We ask people to put their weapons in their vehicles. A violation of the order would be a violation of the city code and carry about the same weight as a 'Misdemeanor violation'.
    Any violation would initially be tried in Judge King's Court.
    I would hazard a guess that the Judge would enforce his own Signed Order.

    SO... OC at Gadsden City Hall is prohibited by city code.
    Other cities may have different or no laws concerning Open Carry or Concealed Carry.
    (Sorry for being long winded...)

    The Etowah County Court House has the same general set up as the City of Gadsden. Etowah Co. has ECSO Deputies on duty at the door. Scanners & Metal Detectors Ect...

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    Regular Member Hollowpoint38's Avatar
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    But are those locations not public property? I respect the authority a judge has, but if it is public property, he may not legally make such a law. It would be a violation of the peoples rights...

    If the tax payers money paid for it to be built, it's public property because everyone has a part in it.

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    Regular Member Hollowpoint38's Avatar
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    Ole Man Dan wrote:
    I am a retired LEO from the City of Gadsden.
    I am currently in charge of the City of Gadsden's Building Security Force. (All Retired Gadsden Officers)
    Judge King (City Judge) signed an order prohibiting bringing weapons into City Hall (about 2 years ago. We began scanning packages, and having everyone pass thru a metal detector at the front entrance to City Hall.
    The Judges order has the effect of law... it prohibits guns, knives and other weapons. We ask people to put their weapons in their vehicles. A violation of the order would be a violation of the city code and carry about the same weight as a 'Misdemeanor violation'.
    Any violation would initially be tried in Judge King's Court.
    I would hazard a guess that the Judge would enforce his own Signed Order.

    SO... OC at Gadsden City Hall is prohibited by city code.
    Other cities may have different or no laws concerning Open Carry or Concealed Carry.
    (Sorry for being long winded...)

    The Etowah County Court House has the same general set up as the City of Gadsden. Etowah Co. has ECSO Deputies on duty at the door. Scanners & Metal Detectors Ect...
    The section in red: A judge may have the power to pass an order, which has the effect of law, but if the order is in violation of the 2ND Amendment, it is not a legal order and as such we are not obligated to follow it.

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    At the moment, whether it is a violation of the 2A is a matter of legal opinion. When Heller Part Deux comes down, we may or may not have a clearer legal situation.

    However, apart from the 2A, is this not a violation of preemption? A locality has changed state gun law, which is a violation of state gun law. Nothing is going to change this judge's ruling until someone violates his ruling, suffers a consequence, and appeals or sues. That won't be me. Anyone else got some stones and some time?

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    However, apart from the 2A, is this not a violation of preemption? A locality has changed state gun law, which is a violation of state gun law.
    Your exactly right...

    In 1982, Alabama enacted a specific handgun-related preemption statute, Alabama Code § 11-45-1.1, which states:
    No incorporated municipality shall have the power to enact any ordinance, rule, or regulation which shall tax, restrict, prevent, or in any way affect the possession or ownership of handguns by the citizens of this state. The entire subject matter of handguns is reserved to the State Legislature. This section shall not be construed to limit or restrict the power of a municipality to adopt ordinances which make the violation of a state handgun law a violation of a municipal ordinance to the same extent as other state law violations, or to limit or restrict the power of a municipal court to exercise concurrent jurisdiction with the district court over violations of state handgun laws which may be prosecuted as breaches of a municipal ordinance.


    Judge Kings order is illegal in-itself per our preemption statute. Much like what is going on in Tuscaloosa right now.

    I understand the "order" he gave isn't legal but where I get fuzzy is on posted SIGNS at certain locations. Heres a few examples:
    1. Court House
    2. Hospital
    3. School
    4. Mall
    5. Any regular business (like walmart)

    I am only asking about posted signs and the law. I personally wouldn't OPEN carry at a place thats posted, but I may concealed. My thinking is that if it's posted and you do it anyways, they will probably ask you to leave and if you don't, you can be charged with trespassing.

    Maybe our old friend Kurtmax can give us some enlightenment, especially on the places I listed being posted with a sign




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    My understanding is that private businesses may post that guns are not allowed. Public property is covered by state law.

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    One of the "reasons" they justify is that the state rents the courthouse so
    the sheriff can restrict. I checked with the mayor and asked to see receipts
    for the states checks. Guess what, no such paper trail, he even laughed when I
    asked how much the state paid in rent for the building. Biggest headache is finding
    out who has authority to trespass you from a public building without tipping your
    hand and them authorizing everyone.

    But why not OC, if you conceal you will be found in the metal detector, and
    have to produce a license for doing so. Me I am waiting till I have a court
    order to be there, then they have to dismiss the charges, or let me in.
    Either way I win. Biggest problem is finding second party to hold gun in the
    hall while you are in the courtroom itself. I might just drive to TN first so
    interstate transport laws will also be on my side.:shock:

    Would love to see your Judges face when you file a motion to have him recused
    from the case. He cannot rule on his own order fairly. And after making the motion
    and him throwing a hissy fit you have more evidence you can't get a fair hearing.
    Oh the joys of justice when you inform him he can write his legislature if he doesn't
    like the law. Yes you get threatened with contempt, but purple with rage judges are
    worth it. My best defense for contempt yet, was "go ahead I don't have anywhere
    to be, and no food at home, I can use the food and rest". He dismissed the case and
    threw me out of his courtroom.
    Prime Entertainment at its best. I am such a bad boy!


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    That flimsy "reason" doesn't work. The State cannot ban it. State law allows it. The county cannot ban it because of preemption.

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    Regular Member Mas49.56's Avatar
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    A circuit court judge down the road from me in Santa Rosa County ordered two county courthouse maintenance workers kidnaped because she was cold last year. A court house is like its own little country and above the common mans law it seems.

    http://www.acr-news.com/news/news.asp?id=1687

    If you or I did this to a coworker, we would do serious time.

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    The courtroom may be a judges playground. The courthouse is not.

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    Regular Member Hollowpoint38's Avatar
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    Dang! This is a great example of a judge on a power trip. I would sue her into another dimension...

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    Dianosis wrote:
    However, apart from the 2A, is this not a violation of preemption? A locality has changed state gun law, which is a violation of state gun law.
    Your exactly right...

    In 1982, Alabama enacted a specific handgun-related preemption statute, Alabama Code § 11-45-1.1, which states:
    No incorporated municipality shall have the power to enact any ordinance, rule, or regulation which shall tax, restrict, prevent, or in any way affect the possession or ownership of handguns by the citizens of this state. The entire subject matter of handguns is reserved to the State Legislature. This section shall not be construed to limit or restrict the power of a municipality to adopt ordinances which make the violation of a state handgun law a violation of a municipal ordinance to the same extent as other state law violations, or to limit or restrict the power of a municipal court to exercise concurrent jurisdiction with the district court over violations of state handgun laws which may be prosecuted as breaches of a municipal ordinance.


    Judge Kings order is illegal in-itself per our preemption statute. Much like what is going on in Tuscaloosa right now.

    I understand the "order" he gave isn't legal but where I get fuzzy is on posted SIGNS at certain locations. Heres a few examples:
    1. Court House
    2. Hospital
    3. School
    4. Mall
    5. Any regular business (like walmart)

    I am only asking about posted signs and the law. I personally wouldn't OPEN carry at a place thats posted, but I may concealed. My thinking is that if it's posted and you do it anyways, they will probably ask you to leave and if you don't, you can be charged with trespassing.

    Maybe our old friend Kurtmax can give us some enlightenment, especially on the places I listed being posted with a sign



    I believe it would also violate 11-80-11.

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    Regular Member Hollowpoint38's Avatar
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    eye95 wrote:
    The courtroom may be a judges playground. The courthouse is not.
    I don'tbelieve things should be this way. I'm not disputing the power a judge has. But when they act out, I believe a vote of the people should decide if they stay in office. Not a vote 2 years later. I think that within 2 months a poll should be made and let the people of that state, county, etc. decide.

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    IANAL but Alabama doesn't have any signage law. Just because you violate some sign on a door doesn't make you automatically trespassing.

    As for courthouses and such. No, there isn't really anywhere in the law that allows them to ban firarms. But try telling that to the guards at the metal detectors...

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    Regular Member Hollowpoint38's Avatar
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    kurtmax_0 wrote:
    IANAL but Alabama doesn't have any signage law. Just because you violate some sign on a door doesn't make you automatically trespassing.

    As for courthouses and such. No, there isn't really anywhere in the law that allows them to ban firarms. But try telling that to the guards at the metal detectors...
    exactly. The only way to settle this is for the average Joe (like u and me), that need our car tag renewed, to walk in the court house with a pistol on our side and a list of the laws. Arrest will be made. Fight it in court. If you win... problem solved. If you lose... corrupt system.

    Anyone going to volunteer for this one?

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    We have recently been through this guys.

    12-2-19 gives authority to the Supreme Court of Alabama to make rules pertaining to the security of all courts in the state.

    It is through this law that courthouse security committee was established to make rules for the security of all courthouses. The sheriff of the county is responsible for enforcing these security measures.

    See AG opinion 99-00023 for more information.

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    Regular Member Hollowpoint38's Avatar
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    REB wrote:
    We have recently been through this guys.

    12-2-19 gives authority to the Supreme Court of Alabama to make rules pertaining to the security of all courts in the state.

    It is through this law that courthouse security committee was established to make rules for the security of all courthouses. The sheriff of the county is responsible for enforcing these security measures.

    See AG opinion 99-00023 for more information.
    Alabama 12-2-19 Code:

    (a) Since the Supreme Court now has the initial primary duty to make and promulgate rules governing practice and procedure in all courts, as well as rules of administration for all courts, all such rules made and promulgated by the Supreme Court shall be filed in the office of the Clerk of the Supreme Court and published in the official report of decisions. The Clerk of the Supreme Court shall certify to the Secretary of State all such rules. The Secretary of State shall cause such rules to be published in the Acts of Alabama and in any code of the laws of Alabama whenever such codes are published or in pocket supplements to codes.

    (b) In connection with its duty to make and promulgate such rules, the Legislature finds that it is within the scope of such authority for the Supreme Court to make rules of administration pertaining to the collection, use, protection and disclosure of information, statistics and records involved in the administration of justice, criminal or otherwise, including information to be stored or which is stored in computers; collection of unpaid court costs, fines and forfeitures; the security of courts; the procedures, forms and standards for appointment of attorneys for indigents in criminal cases and, in the event an indigent becomes nonindigent, collection procedures for attorney's fees, transcript fees and other expenses paid by the state during the period of indigency.

    (c) Rules heretofore promulgated by the Supreme Court shall not be considered to have been superseded or modified by this title unless by express reference in this title or by law hereinafter enacted or by irreconcilable conflict with this title.

    (d) The Clerk of the Supreme Court shall give his opinion in writing on any question of the interpretation of any rule of administration promulgated by the Supreme Court to any other officer or official of the state who shows a need for such opinion and requests the same. The written opinion of the Clerk of the Supreme Court shall protect the officer or official to whom it is directed as well as other officers or officials who use it as guidance from liability to either the state, county or any municipal subdivision of the state because of any official act or acts performed as directed or advised in such opinion; provided, however, that such opinion shall be merely advisory. Such opinions shall be published in the official report of decisions.



    Why are you the only person who knows this?

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    Regular Member Brimstone Baritone's Avatar
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    Yeah, 12-2-19 is all about about administration and record keeping. I read AG 99-00023 and it says the security plan was adopted under Rule 37 of the Alabama Rules of Judicial Administration. Was this ever put into the code? I can't seem to find it on the alacourt website.

    If ARJA Rule 37 is legal then so is the weapon ban. :X

    ETA: 11-14-9 does state that "the county commission has charge of the courthouse and the county sheriff, at the discretion of the county commission, must prevent trespasses, and keep out intruders." But I would ASSUME that the use of that statute by counties to ban firearms would be preempted by 11-80-11.
    There was a time that the pieces fit, but I watched them fall away, mildewed and smoldering, strangled by our coveting. I've done the math enough to know the dangers of our second guessing. Doomed to crumble, unless we grow and strengthen our communication. -Tool, "Schism"

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    mark edward marchiafava wrote:
    just one more, in an endless procession, of instances why this site needs an OC attorney.
    The time for sitting around complaining is long gone.
    What is the practical contribution? Starting a fund are you?

    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.

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    REB wrote:
    We have recently been through this guys.

    12-2-19 gives authority to the Supreme Court of Alabama to make rules pertaining to the security of all courts in the state.

    It is through this law that courthouse security committee was established to make rules for the security of all courthouses. The sheriff of the county is responsible for enforcing these security measures.

    See AG opinion 99-00023 for more information.
    I downloaded 99-00023 and it did not address security. It was about whether the security committee was subject to the sunshine law.

    Is there another opinion on the subject?

    Do you know where one might find the security rules set up the security committee?

    Thanks in advance.

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    Come on guys read through it before complaining.

    Alabama code 12-2-19 (b) In connection with its duty to make and promulgate such rules, the Legislature finds that it is within the scope of such authority for the Supreme Court to make rules of administration pertaining to the collection, use, protection and disclosure of information, statistics and records involved in the administration of justice, criminal or otherwise, including information to be stored or which is stored in computers; collection of unpaid court costs, fines and forfeitures; the security of courts; the procedures, forms and standards for appointment of attorneys for indigents in criminal cases and, in the event an indigent becomes nonindigent, collection procedures for attorney's fees, transcript fees and other expenses paid by the state during the period of indigence.

    The opinion does pertain to sunshine laws but if you read it, itis about the courthouse security committee established under the law sited.


    I don't like it either but thats the way I see it.

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    I read it.

    Please read my post again.

    I downloaded the AG opinion you cited. It did not address security. It only discussed whether the security committee is subject to the sunshine law. Can you double check the AG opinion number? Thank you.

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    Regular Member Brimstone Baritone's Avatar
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    eye95 wrote:
    Please read my post again.
    Please read my post again. :P
    mcdonalk wrote:
    I read AG 99-00023 and it says the security plan was adopted under Rule 37 of the Alabama Rules of Judicial Administration.
    If ARJA 37 (which I can't find a copy of) allows them to enact the ban, and is itself legal, then this is where the problem comes from. If the weapons ban is outside the scope of ARJA 37, or if ARJA 37 is preempted by 11-80-11 (as I suspect, but can't prove), then we are good.
    There was a time that the pieces fit, but I watched them fall away, mildewed and smoldering, strangled by our coveting. I've done the math enough to know the dangers of our second guessing. Doomed to crumble, unless we grow and strengthen our communication. -Tool, "Schism"

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