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Thread: OC inside Fayette District and Circuit Court?

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    OC inside Fayette District and Circuit Court?

    I went with my wife to the Fayette Sheriff's office to apply for her CCDW license. I had no way to OC since it was cold and I had a heavy coat on, so I left my weapon in my vehicle. I mistakenly went to the Circuit Court building first, where we went through security. I then asked the young man attending the metal detector if I could open carry in the building. At first he did not seem to understand what Open Carry meant. I explained, and he responded with, "unless you are a LEO, you can't carry a weapon in here.". I said "Are you sure? I'm talking about open carry." He repeated what he said and started getting agitated. My wife was elbowing me so we proceeded to where I thought the Sheriff's office was. I discovered my mistake and we went one building over to the Sheriff in the District court building. I did not ask the metal detector attendant about OC out of respect for my fair wife.

    When I got home I tried to find restrictions to OC and this is what I found on the State Police website:

    Where can I openly carry a firearm?

    There are no Kentucky Revised Statutes that govern the open carry of firearms by persons who lawfully possess such firearms except for the following:

    * 527.070 - Unlawful possession (whether carried openly or concealed) of a weapon on school property, except for certain specified exceptions.

    * KRS 244.125 - Which bars loaded firearms (concealed or otherwise) in places where alcohol is sold by the drink, except for certain specified exceptions.

    I'd like to bring this to the attention of the Sheriff (the misinformation by the metal detector attendant) but before I reinvent the wheel, has anybody fought this fight already? Any suggestions?
    Last edited by Unbridled Liberty; 01-30-2011 at 03:38 PM.

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    ... [I]n other Words..., Kentucky Revised Statute 65.870 ONLY Applies to Local Governemental Units, NOT State Governmental Units, and, therefore..., State Governemental Units are Clear to Free to Impose ANY Firearm Restrcitions that they Please, on State-Owned Properties, whether Public or Private.
    ... [A]s for Local Governmental Units..., although Preempted under Kentucky Revised Statute 65.870 from Regulating Firearms, or their Ammuniton or Components, Local Governmental Units MAY Regulate Non-Firearm Weapons.

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    @aadvark This is true to some extent. Open carry still may not be regulated--even by state legislature. I believe the only reason that the courts are able to get away with this is the fact that judges are seemingly able to regulate their own buildings or parts of their own buildings.

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    To my knowledge, you've listed them all gutshot.

    To the OP, I once pursued this same process, I finally decided it was not worth it when it came to courthouses.

    Although I believe that since the Sheriff's office is a county office, you should be able to OC into the building only to the Sheriff's office, since the OAG 9709 lists

    "Such other facilities necessary for the operation of the circuit and the district court as may be agreed upon by the county or urban-county government and the Administrative Office of the Courts"

    I believe the Sheriff's office would fall under that definition and it would negate it as just a county office when it is in a courthouse.
    Last edited by UnfetteredMight; 01-31-2011 at 07:07 PM.

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    Thank you GS and UM, that's what I wanted to know. You guys are a wealth of knowledge!

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    Regular Member Gunslinger's Avatar
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    I know of no state that permits carry of a firearm in any level of courthouse in any manner. It is probably--along with jails/prisons, a universal prohibition.

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    Regular Member Gunslinger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gutshot View Post
    You obviously have not read much in the Ky. forum or even this thread. County courthouses are county owned buildings. In Ky., counties are, by statute, not allowed to prohibit openly carried guns in any manner. State Judges are allowed to restrict guns in their courtrooms and associated offices, and have done so. Any county offices that share the same county courthouse, including common entrances, hallways, stairways, may not restrict the open carrying of firearms. Open carry is legal in County Clerks' offices, County Attorneys' Offices, Property Valuation Offices and even Sheriffs' Offices.
    CC may be restricted, but most counties do not do so. County courthouses where the courts occupy the entire courthouse are off limits to any firearms. This usually only happens in the more populous counties. There is even a Ky. Attorney General's Opinion on this subject. It can be read at:

    http://www.ag.ky.gov/NR/rdonlyres/A0.../0/OAG9709.htm

    Enjoy the reading. Several other states allow this same practice.
    What courtroom allows civilian carry of weapons--open or concealed, in Kentucky? I should have been more specific--instead of court house, which may house other agencies, I meant courtrooms and the appurtenant rooms related to it.
    Being from bigger cities, I'm used to court buildings as stand alone, generally with metal detectors at the entrance.

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    Regular Member Gunslinger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gutshot View Post
    Thanks for clarifying your post, but it still can be done in a limited sense. Some counties have a room specifically designated as the chamber where Fiscal Court meets, the Fiscal Courtroom. OC cannot be restricted in that room, unless that room is also used, at other times, as a State Courtroom. County Fiscal Courts are covered by KRS 65.870, the Ky. preemption law. Even if not a designated room used only for Fiscal Court meetings, any place where Fiscal Court meets becomes a Fiscal Courtroom while used for that purpose. CC might be restricted, if done in accordance with KRS 237.115. So, in these "courtrooms" OC is legal and CC may be legal. I have OC'ed and CC'ed in several Fiscal Courtrooms while Fiscal Court was in session. I'm not trying to be overly argumentative. I'm just trying to be absolutely clear to avoid misunderstanding.
    Interesting. KY is about alone in that. Good for them. If cops can carry in courtrooms, CCW's should be able to, as well.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gunslinger View Post
    If cops can carry in courtrooms, CCW's should be able to, as well.
    Imo, I would have to disagree. That is one of the few places where I can understand people not being able to carry firearms. Tension and emotions can run very high in a courtroom.

    I still say we should be able to check them at the door though.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gutshot View Post
    It's not just the risk of someone becoming emotional, but the intimidation factor. Witnesses may not feel free to testify openly and completely with armed people in the court. Juries might not feel safe enough to render the proper verdicts and ever the judge and prosecutor may feel intimidated.
    Hey I listed tension lol.

    A more thorough explanation indeed, Mr Gutshot.

  11. #11
    Regular Member Gunslinger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by UnfetteredMight View Post
    Imo, I would have to disagree. That is one of the few places where I can understand people not being able to carry firearms. Tension and emotions can run very high in a courtroom.

    I still say we should be able to check them at the door though.
    Ok, as long as the cops do, too. The bailiffs can be armed, but a cop doesn't need a weapon in court.

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