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Thread: Combination County Building

  1. #1
    Regular Member Stretch's Avatar
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    Combination County Building

    I ventured out to Benton County to drop off some items for a friend who works for Benton County. Upon arriving at the building, I noticed a sign (possibly window sticker) that prohibited firearms inside the building. This was my first time at this location, and come to find out, the court house is part of the building, but on a different floor.

    My question is this: Is the county allowed to prohibit firearms in the areas NOT related to the court due to preemption, or since the court is inside this structure, should they then provide a lock box at this entry as well as the main entry for the courthouse?

    I may have to go back there and see the rest of the layout to fully understand how they currently have it set up.

  2. #2
    Opt-Out Members BigDave's Avatar
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    RCW 9.41.300
    Weapons prohibited in certain places Local laws and ordinances Exceptions Penalty.

    (b) Those areas in any building which are used in connection with court proceedings, including courtrooms, jury rooms, judge's chambers, offices and areas used to conduct court business, waiting areas, and corridors adjacent to areas used in connection with court proceedings. The restricted areas do not include common areas of ingress and egress to the building that is used in connection with court proceedings, when it is possible to protect court areas without restricting ingress and egress to the building. The restricted areas shall be the minimum necessary to fulfill the objective of this subsection (1)(b).

    For purposes of this subsection (1)(b), "weapon" means any firearm, explosive as defined in RCW 70.74.010, or any weapon of the kind usually known as slung shot, sand club, or metal knuckles, or any knife, dagger, dirk, or other similar weapon that is capable of causing death or bodily injury and is commonly used with the intent to cause death or bodily injury.

    In addition, the local legislative authority shall provide either a stationary locked box sufficient in size for pistols and key to a weapon owner for weapon storage, or shall designate an official to receive weapons for safekeeping, during the owner's visit to restricted areas of the building. The locked box or designated official shall be located within the same building used in connection with court proceedings. The local legislative authority shall be liable for any negligence causing damage to or loss of a weapon either placed in a locked box or left with an official during the owner's visit to restricted areas of the building.

    The local judicial authority shall designate and clearly mark those areas where weapons are prohibited, and shall post notices at each entrance to the building of the prohibition against weapons in the restricted areas;
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  3. #3
    Regular Member amlevin's Avatar
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    The "Law" is clear on this. The problem is the local officials that are "unclear". Might have something to do with where many have their heads stuffed.

    You'd be surprised at the number of local officials that still think "If local law is more stringent than State Law it takes precedent". And those are the ones that get elected or end up working for "US".
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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigDave View Post
    RCW 9.41.300
    Weapons prohibited in certain places Local laws and ordinances Exceptions Penalty.

    (b) Those areas in any building which are used in connection with court proceedings, including courtrooms, jury rooms, judge's chambers, offices and areas used to conduct court business, waiting areas, and corridors adjacent to areas used in connection with court proceedings. The restricted areas do not include common areas of ingress and egress to the building that is used in connection with court proceedings, when it is possible to protect court areas without restricting ingress and egress to the building. The restricted areas shall be the minimum necessary to fulfill the objective of this subsection (1)(b).

    For purposes of this subsection (1)(b), "weapon" means any firearm, explosive as defined in RCW 70.74.010, or any weapon of the kind usually known as slung shot, sand club, or metal knuckles, or any knife, dagger, dirk, or other similar weapon that is capable of causing death or bodily injury and is commonly used with the intent to cause death or bodily injury.

    In addition, the local legislative authority shall provide either a stationary locked box sufficient in size for pistols and key to a weapon owner for weapon storage, or shall designate an official to receive weapons for safekeeping, during the owner's visit to restricted areas of the building. The locked box or designated official shall be located within the same building used in connection with court proceedings. The local legislative authority shall be liable for any negligence causing damage to or loss of a weapon either placed in a locked box or left with an official during the owner's visit to restricted areas of the building.

    The local judicial authority shall designate and clearly mark those areas where weapons are prohibited, and shall post notices at each entrance to the building of the prohibition against weapons in the restricted areas;
    Points of order;

    1: If the court facilities are all contained on a separate floor from the public entrance, then by law the security checkpoint for firearms should be either
    a: At the exit of the elevator/stairwell on the floor containing court facilities
    or
    b: immediately prior to the elevator/stairwell entrance if there are no other floors above the court facilities which are not allowed to be secured under state law (due to the 'minimum necessary' wording). A security checkpoint at the entrance to a five story building of which only the third floor is utilized for court facilities would be illegal under state law.

    2: The lockbox/check-in person must be located in the same building as the court facilities. This does NOT mean they must be located at the security checkpoint. If you have business in the secure area, they can force you to check-in the firearm down at the front desk if they so choose. They CANNOT force you to check in your sidearm if you do not attempt/intend to access the court facilities, regardless of where the lockbox/check-in person is located.

    3: While state law requires a sign at the entrance(s) to inform of the restriction on firearms in court facilities, utilizing/wording the sign to restrict the entire building would be illegal under state law if there are areas of the building not being used as court facilities. The only possible exception would be a multi-floor building wherein the lowest floor(s) were utilized for court facilities and the upper floor(s) were not. Since one could not access the upper floors without passing through court facilities, then the entire building would effectively be off limits to firearms.

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