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Thread: Adult Court Services -- Are Firearms Prohibited???

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    Adult Court Services -- Are Firearms Prohibited???

    Hi, I noticed a sign posted on the front door to the Adult Court Services building in Warrenton, VA. It states that ALL WEAPONS of any kind are prohibited. Is this permitted when this is the paperwork office for the courthouse? Here is the link describing the facility. http://www.fauquiercounty.gov/govern...ts/adultcourt/ Keep in mind that this is NOT where the actual court is located. My question is, does this facility still fall under the courthouse provision of NO Firearms allowed? Thanks for any answers that can clear this up for me.
    Last edited by Mailman; 07-28-2010 at 02:46 PM.

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    Regular Member wylde007's Avatar
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    Question

    Is the building physically connected in any way to the actual courthouse?

    Otherwise, I believe preemption rules.
    The quiet war has begun, with silent weapons
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    No. The court is located about 1 to 2 blocks away from this building.

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    Regular Member wylde007's Avatar
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    Then I can't see how anyone could possibly consider that this particular building evades preemption.

    You should write a letter to the Warrenton C.A. and maybe copy City Council and the Sheriff's department.

    Let them know that the sign is in violation of § 15.2-915 of the state code.
    Last edited by wylde007; 07-28-2010 at 03:16 PM.
    The quiet war has begun, with silent weapons
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    Regular Member TFred's Avatar
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    Before telling them what you think, you might ask them what they think... as in, under what authority do you post a sign banning weapons in this building?

    TFred

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    Quote Originally Posted by TFred View Post
    Before telling them what you think, you might ask them what they think... as in, under what authority do you post a sign banning weapons in this building?

    TFred
    Good idea. Thanks TFred. Exactly what I am looking for. As you can tell I am somewhat new to all this. Just starting to get more involved in the community.

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    Regular Member TFred's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mailman View Post
    Good idea. Thanks TFred. Exactly what I am looking for. As you can tell I am somewhat new to all this. Just starting to get more involved in the community.
    I wouldn't expect much of an answer though...

    TFred

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    Campaign Veteran skidmark's Avatar
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    They are a part of the Department of Corrections, which means they are exempted from the state preemption law because they are a state agency, not a local government agency. We really need to get that addressed soon.

    Additionally, there are convicted felons and misdemeanants going in and out of there all day long, which means that it may not be the most appropriate place to bring a firearm -- not that I actually think that is a rational reason to disarm me so much as it is a decent reason for me to either have a means of self defense or avoid going there if possible.

    Hope that clarifies the situation for you.

    stay safe.

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    Regular Member wylde007's Avatar
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    Question

    Quote Originally Posted by skidmark View Post
    They are a part of the Department of Corrections, which means they are exempted from the state preemption law because they are a state agency, not a local government agency.
    I did not make that connection. What is that cite? My Leg1-fu is lacking and all I find in 15.2-915 is the following:

    The provisions of this section applicable to a locality shall also apply to any authority or to a local governmental entity, including a department or agency, but not including any local or regional jail or juvenile detention facility.
    Is the provision you're referencing in the VAC or State Code?

    Apologies for the probable repeat-question.
    The quiet war has begun, with silent weapons
    And the newest slavery is to keep the people poor, and stupid
    Novos ordo seclorum ~ Mustaine

    Never argue with an idiot. He will drag you down to his level and beat you with experience.

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    Wylde he's basing his statement on his thought that because the DoC is operated by the Executive branch of the VA government (which has the power of executing the enforcement of laws and the operation of departments who operate at the will of the legislatures) that the Legislative branch has no say in what the department can do. I find this to be totally ludicrous as it would seem that the various state departments may only be operated under a charter approved by those who also control their budgetary alotment: the Legislature. As described in the Virginia Constitution the legislature has the authority to create administrative agencies and specify and limit their authority and duties.

    Virginia Constitution, Article III, Division of Powers
    The legislative, executive, and judicial departments shall be separate and distinct, so that none exercise the powers properly belonging to the others, nor any person exercise the power of more than one of them at the same time; provided, however, administrative agencies may be created by the General Assembly with such authority and duties as the General Assembly may prescribe. Provisions may be made for judicial review of any finding, order, or judgment of such administrative agencies.

    Further....

    Virginia Constitution, Article V, Section 9 Administrative Organization
    The functions, powers, and duties of the administrative departments and divisions and of the agencies of the Commonwealth within the legislative and executive branches may be prescribed by law.


    http://legis.state.va.us/laws/search/constitution.htm
    Last edited by jmelvin; 07-28-2010 at 05:22 PM.

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    Regular Member Thundar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skidmark View Post
    They are a part of the Department of Corrections, which means they are exempted from the state preemption law because they are a state agency, not a local government agency. We really need to get that addressed soon.

    Additionally, there are convicted felons and misdemeanants going in and out of there all day long, which means that it may not be the most appropriate place to bring a firearm -- not that I actually think that is a rational reason to disarm me so much as it is a decent reason for me to either have a means of self defense or avoid going there if possible.

    Hope that clarifies the situation for you.

    stay safe.
    Skid, are you sure they are part of a state agency? I am not sure that they are.

    If they are, then we need to ask under what state rule do they take such action. They are not a corrections facility, so what rule do they use to trespass upon a fundamental right of citizens of the Commonwealth?

    Live Free or Die,
    Thundar
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    Founder's Club Member - Moderator ed's Avatar
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    I sent em a postcard...

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    Regular Member PaulX608's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ed View Post
    I sent em a postcard...
    Ed, I really hate to be a stickler, but brough should be brought and oversite should be oversight.

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    Founder's Club Member - Moderator ed's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PaulX608 View Post
    Ed, I really hate to be a stickler, but brough should be brought and oversite should be oversight.
    yer rite, i cun spell, i jest cant tipe.

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    Quote Originally Posted by PaulX608 View Post
    Ed, I really hate to be a stickler, but brough should be brought and oversite should be oversight.
    He's sending it to Bureaucrats Paul. They don't know the difference.

    Besides, they'll just trashcan it.

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    Founder's Club Member - Moderator ed's Avatar
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    Unhappy

    Quote Originally Posted by PaulX608 View Post
    Ed, I really hate to be a stickler, but brough should be brought and oversite should be oversight.
    Quote Originally Posted by ed View Post
    yer rite, i cun spell, i jest cant tipe.
    Thanks.. I should have spell checked it.

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    Campaign Veteran skidmark's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thundar View Post
    Skid, are you sure they are part of a state agency? I am not sure that they are.

    If they are, then we need to ask under what state rule do they take such action. They are not a corrections facility, so what rule do they use to trespass upon a fundamental right of citizens of the Commonwealth?

    Live Free or Die,
    Thundar
    As regards being a state agency as opposed to a local agency, I took this:
    Adult Unit
    … investigates and supervises adults who come under the jurisdiction of the Court on matters relating to domestic violence, other intra-family criminal cases and cases of adult offenses against children.

    The Adult Unit seeks to protect and preserve the welfare of the family and the community by providing evaluation, treatment, and referral services for adult clients. Counselors conduct case investigations and evaluations, supervise probation, treatment coordination and monitor compliance with court orders, and arrange for violation hearings when there is non-compliance.
    from here http://www.arlingtonva.us/Department...icesUnits.aspx because it is one of the clearest-written descriptions out there.

    Adult Probation Officers are employees of the Division of Community Corrections of the Department of Corrections. http://www.vadoc.state.va.us/community/ It is a strange circumstance, for the trivia buffs, that a Probation/Parole Officer must be approved by the presiding judge of the circuit court where he serves. (For bone fides, I was an Institutional Parole Officer for about 4 years. Go figure out that job description! :>) )

    Here's the deal. As far as the courts are concerned, 15.2-915 applies to local government and its agencies, boards, commissions, etc. (with the clearly indicated exception of regional jails), and NOT AT ALL to state government and state government agencies.

    Yes, there are many here on OCDO who wish to claim otherwise. To them I say "All the best at your trial" and that I promise to think of them on visiting days. Personally I have no desire to push that rock uphill until we get the General Assembly to revise the code and include state agencies in 15.2-915 preemption.

    stay safe.

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    Again skidmark you claim that the courts have determined that 15.2-915 applies only to localities and their agencies while: Ignoring that the statute is clearly more broad in its wording; and providing no court cases where the courts have determined that the statute does not apply to the state. Across this post and in others you waffle between stating that 15.2-915 does not apply to state agencies because: The legislature has no power over agencies operated by the executive branch; and / or the belief that the language of 15.2-915 is applicable only to localities, despite the fact that the language of the code is clearly more broad (Paragraph 3 "... any authority, inlcuding a department or agency).

    § 15.2-915. Control of firearms; applicability to authorities and local governmental agencies.

    A. No locality shall adopt or enforce any ordinance, resolution or motion, as permitted by § 15.2-1425, and no agent of such locality shall take any administrative action, governing the purchase, possession, transfer, ownership, carrying, storage or transporting of firearms, ammunition, or components or combination thereof other than those expressly authorized by statute. For purposes of this section, a statute that does not refer to firearms, ammunition, or components or combination thereof, shall not be construed to provide express authorization.

    Nothing in this section shall prohibit a locality from adopting workplace rules relating to terms and conditions of employment of the workforce. Nothing in this section shall prohibit a law-enforcement officer, as defined in § 9.1-101 from acting within the scope of his duties.

    The provisions of this section applicable to a locality shall also apply to any authority or to a local governmental entity, including a department or agency, but not including any local or regional jail or juvenile detention facility.


    Having provided the VA constitutional provision for the legislature having the authority to limit and specify what state agencies and departments do and having pointed out that the language of 15.2-915 states that "any authority, inlcuding a department or agency" is bound to the same restrictions as a locality as described, please do cite why it is you think that 15.2-915 does not apply to state agencies. Court cases or other code citations are perfectly acceptable for the basis of your opinion.
    Last edited by jmelvin; 07-29-2010 at 01:44 PM.

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    Hi, Original poster here. I see that skidmark and jmelvin and having a discussion about this situation. Does it matter at all if the sign on the outside of the building says, "Fauquier County Adult Court Services" ? I see nowhere announcing that it is a state agency from the outside.

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    Regular Member ProShooter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mailman View Post
    does it matter at all if the sign on the outside of the building says, "fauquier county adult court services" ?

    lmao!
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    Yes it matters, then this is a county issue and the question of whether this is a state agency or department as skidmark and I were discussing has no bearing on your issue. Your job now is to find out if this is a courthouse. If not then the sign should come down.

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    Mailman isn't that the building that also houses the county offices? The Court unit is on the ground floor. I've carried there many time before. Never really looked for a sign, I just know if they have a metal detector I have to disarm.

    All Adult Court Services is in most localities is pre-trial services where they work you up before your hearing or sentencing date.

    The trend now is to put everything on the other side of the metal detector. The new court houses in Lynchburg and Campbell County are very good examples.

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    Moderator / Administrator Grapeshot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jmelvin View Post
    Yes it matters, then this is a county issue and the question of whether this is a state agency or department as skidmark and I were discussing has no bearing on your issue. Your job now is to find out if this is a courthouse. If not then the sign should come down.
    I believe what you are going to find is that this is a state agency.
    Look at the link and use the pull down menu on the right.
    http://www.fauquiercounty.gov/
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    Regular Member wylde007's Avatar
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    Exclamation

    From the web site:
    The mission of the Office of Adult Court Services is to provide criminal justice services to the local courts and community resulting in enhanced public safety, reduced jail overcrowding, and increased accountability of criminal offenders. These services include but are not limited to, probation services, pretrial investigation and supervision services, litter control programs, criminal justice grant administration, staffing of the Fauquier/Rappahannock Community Criminal Justice Board and Board of Supervisor’s Public Safety Committee, and collection and analysis of system data in order to assess the need for new programs and services and the effectiveness of current services.
    It "appears" on the face that this is a local/county service unit.
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    Novos ordo seclorum ~ Mustaine

    Never argue with an idiot. He will drag you down to his level and beat you with experience.

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    Moderator / Administrator Grapeshot's Avatar
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    Last edited by Grapeshot; 07-30-2010 at 11:06 AM. Reason: Body should NOT be a link + new link
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    Old and treacherous will beat young and skilled every time. Yata hey.

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