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Thread: Press Register - Baldwin County set to repeal city hall gun ban

  1. #1
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    Press Register - Baldwin County set to repeal city hall gun ban

    http://blog.al.com/live/2010/11/coun...ity_ordin.html

    SNIP

    At Tuesday’s work session, commissioners said they plan to vote at the next regular meeting Dec. 7 to begin the process of repealing the ordinance. Commissioners said they were not sure how much drafting and advertising the ordinance cost the county.

    For months, Burt criticized the ordinance that was expanded to cover all county-owned buildings and not just those that house judicial proceedings. The ordinance, which went into effect this month, banned items including guns, knives, explosives, alcohol and animals from county buildings.

    Some said the new rules would interfere with the public’s access to county services.

    “They did ask for the ordinance,” said Commissioner Charles “Skip” Gruber, who participated in committee meetings months ago during his term as County Commission chairman. “I was the one who asked our legal department to expand it to cover county employees and the public at other offices. Not just judicial employees deserve protection.”

    Before the ordinance passed, District Attorney Judy Newcomb questioned the ordinance’s ban on guns, pointing to the Alabama Constitution’s prohibition on any interference with gun ownership or possession except by the state Legislature.

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    What a horribly written article. It is disjointed, wandering all over the place, leaving ideas and unexpectedly returning to them in the weirdest places.

    Preemption, which should be the focus of the issue, isn't mentioned until the end of the article, and then is totally misstated. The Alabama Constitution doesn't bar counties and cities from making gun law; the code does.

    Anyway, the article defines the bad guy: Commissioner Charles “Skip” Gruber, who admitted, “I was the one who asked our legal department to expand it to cover county employees and the public at other offices. Not just judicial employees deserve protection,” perpetuating the myth that laws will stop the bad guys from breaking gun and murder laws, obviating the need for folks to be able to defend themselves.

    Of course, what he says also runs in the face of a recent AG ruling saying that, as a consequence of preemption, cities and counties may not bar employees from carrying on the job.

    The question still remains as to whether judicial security committees have the authority to ban firearms in courthouses. This usurpation of power is going unchallenged, but the law clearly says that the matter of firearms is reserved to the legislature. The problem is further exacerbated by the existence of buildings that house courtrooms and government offices and the attempt to ban firearms in entire buildings that house courtrooms.

    On the repeal itself: it's good that the local firearms ban will be repealed, but it would be better if they made it absolutely clear that the repeal is correcting an action they did not have the authority to take.

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    It is Perfectly Legal to Carry Firearms in CourtHouses throughout Alabama, as there is NO Law under The Code of Alabama 1975 that Prohibits it.
    Alabama Codes 1975 11-45-1.1 AND 11-80-11 Protect this Conduct.
    Bladwin County CANNOT Enforce its Ban on Firearms in Public Buildings.

    If The Baldwin County Board of Commissioners wants such a Ban, then, I proposes that they ask The Alabama Legislature on making Certain 'Sensitive' Public Buildings, i.e.: Jails, Prisons, and CourtHouses, as Off-Limits 'Gun Free Zones', then, I suggest that: 1. The Alabama Legislature REPEAL Alabama Code 1975 13A-11-59 AND 2. REPLACE Alabama Code 1975 13A-11-59 as per Prohibiting Firearms, or other Weapons, in: CourtHouses, Jails, and Prisons.

    Cudos to District Attorney Judy Newcomb, for Realizing that Baldwin County CANNOT Enforce its Draconian Firearm Prohibitions contrary to Alabama Law.
    Last edited by aadvark; 12-01-2010 at 01:33 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by aadvark View Post
    It is Perfectly Legal to Carry Firearms in CourtHouses throughout Alabama, as there is NO Law under The Code of Alabama 1975 that Prohibits it.
    Alabama Codes 1975 11-45-1.1 AND 11-80-11 Protect this Conduct.
    Bladwin County CANNOT Enforce its Ban on Firearms in Public Buildings.

    If The Alabama Legislature is Content on making Certain 'Sensitive' Public Buildings, i.e.: Jails, Prisons, and CourtHouses, as Off-Limits 'Gun Free Zones', then, I suggest that: 1. The Alabama Legislature REPEAL Alabama Code 1975 13A-11-59 AND 2. REPLACE Alabama Code 1975 13A-11-59 as per Prohibiting Firearms, or other Weapons, in: CourtHouses, Jails, and Prisons.

    Cudos to District Attorney Judy Newcomb, for Realizing that Balwin County CANNOT Enforce its Draconian Firearm Prohibitions contrary to Alabama Law.
    The question on the legitimacy of rules prohibiting carry in courtrooms stems from the authority given by the legislature to security committees to make rules for security of courtrooms. It can be argued that the legislature made an exception to their "only we make the rules" rule when they gave this authority to security committees.

    Of course, it can be argued that because of preemption, it should be assumed that the power to make security rules does not include the power to make rules restricting carry.

    So, which is it? We will never know until some poor sap is arrested and tried for carrying in a courtroom. Then a court will decide whether their security committees have the authority to make rules for carry in courthouses. Which way do you think they'll rule?

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    In the Case of CourtRooms AND CourtHouses..., probably..., against such Carrier of a Firearm, however; an Argument can certainly be made especailly in light of Alabama Code 1975 11-45-1.1.
    Such a Case would most probably be Granted Certiorari Appeal to The Alabama Supreme Court.

    The Alabama Supreme Court would be The Judicial Forum to decide the Merits of CourtHouse Carry under Alabama Code 1975 11-45-1.1.

    The Ruling that The Alabama Supreme Court would provide is a Guess.

    P.S.: It would be Ironic if such a Case should Originate from Baldwin County, though.
    Last edited by aadvark; 12-01-2010 at 02:02 PM.

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    Yet every court house I've been to in Baldwin, or in Alabama(Mobile, Dothan, Birmingham, Foley) have signs clearly posted that no weapons are allowed in them, plus you have to go through metal detectors and be searched, knives and other weapons will be confiscated...

    So, contradiction here? Confusing none the less.

    Lived in AL 18 years.
    Last edited by Jaxinc; 12-04-2010 at 03:47 AM.

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    Yes, courthouse gun bans are illegal, but they predate preemption. So, what we get to do is go challenge them all so they can be struck down.

    Preemption is like a patent: it's useless until we enforce it.

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    Baldwin County Courthouse Carry

    I carry concealed in the Baldwin County Satellite Courthouse. The only law I am breaking is the illegal one that is being repealed. I do not attempt to carry into the court room, just the sections where the DMV and other offices are located. There are no signs prohibiting carry. Open carry there would surely test the waters, but it's not going to be me.

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    The Judicial branch, as a branch of government, may establish its own rules at the courthouses - whether this branch has done so or not, i do not know.

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