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Thread: Can Federal Judges in DC carry?

  1. #1
    Regular Member Dreamer's Avatar
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    Can Federal Judges in DC carry?

    Since it has been pretty much established in the USC and Code of Federal Regulations that Judges may carry in their own courts, I was wondering if Federal judges are allowed to carry in DC? It seems that even in places like Chicago and CA, Federal Judges have written in exemptions to local/state carry restrictions for themselves, and many judges nationwide are now carrying.

    What about DC?

    What about US Supreme Court Justices? I wouldn't be surprised if all 9 carry. But that information would make a GREAT story.

    Is there any way to find out?

  2. #2
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    Well the decision was 5-4 and my basic math skills make it 9 votes....
    Since all of them voted, then none of them have guns, or they would have been
    recused from the case. But I bet there are at least 3 sticking us with the bill for
    armed security.

    But SCOTUS judges are not part of the federal justice system so wouldn't
    fall under those exceptions. Federal judges are under congress, a separate branch
    of gooberment. And since they said separate but equal is unconstitutional, they cannot
    claim the same right.

  3. #3
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    I think some corrections are in order

    Quote Originally Posted by SlackwareRobert View Post
    Well the decision was 5-4 and my basic math skills make it 9 votes....
    Since all of them voted, then none of them have guns, or they would have been
    recused from the case.
    A) IANAL, but I suspect that the recusal standards are much tougher than that, particular for the SCOTUS. I'm pretty certain that Justice Scalia has been photographed during a hunting trip. He may or may not own a gun. He may or may not live in D.C. Regardless, I do not think that their votes say anything about ownership or carry status.

    B) As to the original question about federal judges being allowed to carry, anyone who thinks that they have some special exemption should cite it. The legislative branch writes bills and the executive branch decides, barring a veto override, whether or not those become law. The judiciary plays no part in it.

    Quote Originally Posted by SlackwareRobert View Post
    But I bet there are at least 3 sticking us with the bill for
    armed security.
    We know that federal judges receive some security measues funded by the government -- particularly in the wake of the murder last year of a judge's family at their home -- but I'm doubtful that individual carry or constant armed security away from the courthouse are among them.

    Quote Originally Posted by SlackwareRobert View Post
    But SCOTUS judges are not part of the federal justice system so wouldn't
    fall under those exceptions. Federal judges are under congress, a separate branch
    of gooberment. And since they said separate but equal is unconstitutional, they cannot
    claim the same right.
    A) The courts are not "under congress". See Article III of the Constitution. Congress does create the inferior courts and the Senate does advise and consent to court appointments as well as appropriating money for them but that is true for the executive branch as well. The executive, legislative, and judicial are separate and co-equal branches of the federal government.

    B) I think you are confusing "co-equal" -- meaning on the same level -- and "separate but equal" which referred to legal racial segregation starting with Plessy v. Ferguson and overruled by Brown vs. Board of Education.

    While politicians of all stipes and status have been known to make special rules for themselves -- and there were instances where Members of Congress were designated Special U.S. Marshals to make them federal LEOs; this practice has been discontinued as a violation of separation of powers -- , I do not think federal judges have any special authority to carry handguns in D.C.

    SA-TX

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    Regular Member Dreamer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SA-TX View Post
    B) As to the original question about federal judges being allowed to carry, anyone who thinks that they have some special exemption should cite it. The legislative branch writes bills and the executive branch decides, barring a veto override, whether or not those become law. The judiciary plays no part in it.

    Chapter 21, Title 28 of the United States Code:

    "A judicial officer of the United States is authorized to carry a firearm, whether concealed or not, under regulations promulgated by the Judicial Conference of the United States. The authority granted by this section shall extend only to

    (1) those states in which the carrying of firearms by judicial officers of the state is permitted by state law, or

    (2) regardless of state law, to any place where the judicial officer of the United States sits, resides, or is present on official travel status."

  5. #5
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    I can't find the source that you are quoting

    Quote Originally Posted by Dreamer View Post
    Chapter 21, Title 28 of the United States Code:

    "A judicial officer of the United States is authorized to carry a firearm, whether concealed or not, under regulations promulgated by the Judicial Conference of the United States. The authority granted by this section shall extend only to

    (1) those states in which the carrying of firearms by judicial officers of the state is permitted by state law, or

    (2) regardless of state law, to any place where the judicial officer of the United States sits, resides, or is present on official travel status."
    This is the most recent official source I found during a quick search: http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgi-...USCPI&PDFS=YES

    I don't see any such text in Chapter 21 of Title 28. Am I missing it? Do you have a section number?

    Are you perhaps referring to the language from a couple of proposals from the late 1990s like this one (found here: http://www.congress.gov/cgi-bin/cpqu...LD010:@1(hr437)) which proposed to add a new section, 464, that incorporates the language you cite but that never became law?

    SA-TX

  6. #6
    Regular Member Dreamer's Avatar
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    Oops. My bad... I thought that language had become law... Sorry for the confusion...

    However, several States have passed laws allowing State and Federal judges to carry in their courts, and to transport from court to home, concealed without a permit. I was just wondering if DC had jumped on the bandwagon of giving Judges a pass on CC based just on their "office"...

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