I wish you would run for office.
In December of last year, I was at the gun show in Louisville. I was talking to a stranger about guns, of course, and the subject of local laws prohibiting guns came up. He asked me, “Why do they have “no guns allowed” signs at the Henry County Courthouse?” I asked him what the sign said and he wasn't certain, but he took my e-mail address and promised to stop by and take pictures of them and send them to me. He never did. After a few days, with no pictures, I decided to ride to New Castle, Kentucky to look for myself. When I arrived at the Henry County Courthouse I found two solid wooden, outer doors wide open and two closed, inner glass doors. If you look through the glass doors, you can see the County Sheriff's office, just inside those doors on the left. On the first floor, to the right of the glass doors, is the Circuit Clerks office and upstairs, on the second floor, is the Courtroom. On the inside of the glass doors there were three signs. The first of the three signs read,
“It is hereby ordered that any person who enters the Henry County Courthouse does so knowing that he or she may be searched by court security personnel. Refusal to grant such as search shall be grounds to deny entry to the courthouse.” Sign #1 attached below.
This order is signed by Circuit Judge Karen Conrad, Circuit Judge Timothy Feeley, District Judge Diana Wheeler and District Judge Jerry Crosby. These are the four judges that hold court in this courthouse. The second of the three signs states,
“No weapons allowed in this court facility by order of the Chief Judge.” Sign #2 attached below
The last sign reads,
“No weapons allowed in the courthouse. This includes guns, pocket knives, box cutters, if found on your person in the courthouse it will become the property of the Henry County Sheriff’s office”. These last two signs had no signature. I've attached pictures of all three signs at the end of this text.
Needless to say I was stunned. This is the most egregious violations of individual liberties I've ever personally encountered.
I knew that the judicial circuit that includes Henry County also includes Oldham and Trimble County and it's only a few miles from New Castle to La Grange. I wondered if the same signs would be on the Oldham County Courthouse. So, I got back in the car, without going into the Henry County Courthouse, naturally I was OC, and drove to La Grange. When I got to the Oldhan County Courthouse, I found that that Courthouse appeared to be occupied entirely by the Court of Justice. However, the exact same sign, about stealing people's personal property, was on that courthouse, also. I saw no need to go to Tremble County and was walking back to my car when I saw the Oldham County Fiscal Court building directly across the street from the courthouse. This building houses most of the county offices in Oldham County. It’s what I always called a courthouse annex. I decided to have a look at it. Sure enough, at all the entrances I found signs reading, ”No weapons allowed on this premises pursuant to KRS 237.115”. I went on inside the building, I’d left the Taurus 608, 8 shot, .357 Magnum in the car, and went straight to the records room, found the ordinance books and started looking to see if the ordinance required by KRS 237.115 had been passed by Oldham County Fiscal Court. The ordinance books were a mess andI was unable to find an ordinance. I came home and the following day I sent an e-mail to the Oldham County Attorney asking under what authority the signs where placed on the Fiscal Court Building. I got a response the next day. The County Attorney said she only had eight days left in her term and didn’t have time to get involved. So, I was forced to wait until the new year for a new administration. After a few weeks I sent emails to all Oldham County Magistrates and the County Judge/Exec. After several back and forth emails over the next few weeks the signs came down, except for one at the entrance to the room in the Fiscal Court Building where Fiscal Court meets. They claimed it was a courtroom. It took a while to convince them they were not the Court of Justice, but they finally took down that sign and every other sign on Oldham County buildings, except the Courthouse where its, apparently, legal.
So, now with Oldham Co. straightened out I thought about confronting the Henry Co. Sheriff about his obvious violation of 65.870 and KRS 237.104, but decided he would just claim he did it on the Judges orders. So, back to Henry County and the four judges. Some friends and I got together and sent a letter to the four judges. After several weeks, they responded and said they had decided to change the first sign to only be in effect on days that court was in session. They said that was every Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday; the second Thursday and the fourth Friday of the month and, in addition, trials on others day as needed. Not much of a concession. I interpreted that to mean all day any day court was held. In fact, I went back to Henry County and found that the sign has been changed and now says only “when court is in session”. They did not want to discuss the other two signs claiming the sheriff had “posted” them, despite the wording ”…by order of the Chief Judge” in the second sign. We sent a second letter asking what their legal authority was for issuing their order and it has now been five weeks. I also suggested that since they contended the County Sheriff had placed the “no weapons” signs they should remind him of KRS 65.870 and KRS 237.104 and USC 42, 1983. They have not replied, We have now filed a complaint on all four judges with the Judicial Conduct Commission.
I’ve been keeping this quiet hoping to reach an agreement, privately, with the judges, but it has become clear that they are not going to change their position, voluntarily. Often public officials will back down as long as they don’t have to do it in public. This time not at all, yet. I still have some ideas. More is yet to come. Stay tuned and keep plenty of popcorn on hand, the show is about to begin.
Last edited by gutshot; 08-24-2011 at 09:28 PM.
I wish you would run for office.
He that would make his own liberty secure, must guard even his enemy from oppression; for if he violates this duty, he establishes a precedent which will reach to himself. -- Thomas Paine (1737--1809), Dissertation on First Principles of Government, 1795
Gutshot for president!!!
(WHY CANT I TYPE THIS IN ALL CAPS?)
Last edited by 09jisaac; 05-16-2011 at 02:17 PM.
I need to revive this old thread and post some new developments. I was at the gun show in Lexington today and was speaking to some people about preemption violations in their home county and when I asked where they lived they said Henry Co. I told them all of the information that's in this thread and they told me that the Henry Co. Sheriff's Office had been moved out of the courthouse and now the court occupies all of that building. I called a friend of mine who lives in Henry Co. to confirm this. He told me yes, it had been moved, "because some people had been complaining about not being able to carry guns in the Sheriff's Office." This is not the result that I had been trying to obtain, but it appears to have, at least and at last, brought them into compliance with the law. I will be asking around to see if I can get more information on this and will post whatever I find out, whenever I find out.
Last edited by gutshot; 09-16-2012 at 09:12 PM.
Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves.
"If ye love wealth greater than liberty, the tranquility of servitude greater than the animating contest for freedom, go home from us in peace. We seek not your counsel, nor your arms. Crouch down and lick the hand that feeds you; May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen."
Just remove the signs ...