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Thread: Courthouse Carry, and the Rude LEO

  1. #1
    Regular Member RebelWolf's Avatar
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    Courthouse Carry, and the Rude LEO

    So I was at the courthouse doing some research on a felony case that I'm writing a paper on. I was leaving and since I usually carry a CCW, I asked the security guard (Sheriff Deputy) about the policy on weapons check-in at the front (there are metal detectors). He told me to just knock on the glass and inform the officer(s) that I had a weapon to check in, and they would lock it up in the security boxes. Since CRS 18-12-214 says that: "(c) Security personnel require each person who is carrying a weapon of any kind to leave the weapon in possession of security personnel while the person is in the building." This seemed reasonable.

    Well... It didn't go so well. Here is a letter that I'm submitting to the Sheriff. Let me know what y'all think.

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    I had an incident at the court house today with one of your deputies. Really this started on Wednesday the 5th. I had come in on Wednesday and asked one of deputies at the front "gate" area what the policy on concealed firearms at the courthouse was (I don't remember his name, but I was in the courthouse around 3:45pm-4:30pm). He informed me that the officers would hold the weapon at the front, in a locked box if one was brought in, and just to knock on the glass and inform the officers that I had a weapon.

    Today, Friday the 7th at about 9:30am, I followed the "procedure" stated on Wednesday, and was immediately greeted with resistance, and disrespect. The officer, told me to take the weapon back out to the car, because they "didn't want to deal with it." I told him what I was told on Wednesday, and he responded by asking where my car was. After letting him know I was a bit confused now, he told me to come on through the gate, and reluctantly stored the weapon in the locker. On my way out of the court house, I was again scolded for bringing in the weapon, and told that when an officer tells me to do something, to do it. At the very end of the "encounter" I was told that only Law-enforcement was allowed to utilize the weapons storage area. If I was told this at the beginning, there would have been no issue. Deputy Rowe also informed me that he didn't tell me this at first, because "they were to busy." There was one person in front of me, and at the time, none behind me. While checking in my weapon, two or three people came in.

    The Deputy was very rude in this encounter, and I did not appreciate the way he handled the situation at all. He seemed to have a "superiority complex," and enjoyed "talking down" to me during this encounter. While waiting to retrieve my weapon (on my way out) I observed him, in my opinion, harassing other people entering the facility. One person was told that they shouldn't we are a particular pair of pants into the courthouse, because there was to much metal in them. He presented himself in a way that was disrespectful to me, other individuals, and reflects poorly on your agency.

    I did discuss this issue with the Sergeant that is in charge of the courthouse, and he also stated that the storage area was for "law enforcement only." When I brought the issue of the Deputy's behavior, I didn't feel completely satisfied with the response. He seemed to try to defuse the Deputy's behavior, saying that the Deputy was "direct," but not rude. He did tell me that he would address the issue, however I felt that a written complaint to you was/is in order, to further address this issue. I would like to point out again that on Wednesday I was told that "policy" is to check the weapon in at the front, Not lock it in the car. These types of inconsistencies are how law abiding citizens (like myself) get into these types of situations. This must be addressed.

    I have not found any policy regarding this issue online, and would like a written copy of this policy. Although I'm sure you are aware, I would like to site a couple State Statues for you to review on the notification process that is required by the state, in order to prohibit the open carrying of firearms in the building. I would recommend posting signs, should you not want open cary in the building.

    C.R.S 29-11.7-104. Regulation - carrying - posting.

    A local government may enact an ordinance, regulation, or other law that prohibits the open carrying of a firearm in a building or specific area within the local government's jurisdiction. If a local government enacts an ordinance, regulation, or other law that prohibits the open carrying of a firearm in a building or specific area, the local government shall post signs at the public entrances to the building or specific area informing persons that the open carrying of firearms is prohibited in the building or specific area.

    Source: L. 2003: Entire article added, p. 653, § 2, effective March 18


    As to my situation, according to CRS 18-12-214, myself, (and anyone carrying a concealed weapon) is required by law to leave the weapon with security personal. It does not state that only Law Enforcement is able to utilize this "feature," if you will.

    18-12-214. Authority granted by permit - carrying restrictions.
    (4) A permit issued pursuant to this part 2 does not authorize a person to carry a concealed handgun into a public building at which:

    (a) Security personnel and electronic weapons screening devices are permanently in place at each entrance to the building;

    (b) Security personnel electronically screen each person who enters the building to determine whether the person is carrying a weapon of any kind; and

    (c) Security personnel require each person who is carrying a weapon of any kind to leave the weapon in possession of security personnel while the person is in the building.

    The state recognizes that there is an inconsistency with firearm regulation:
    "29-11.7-101. Legislative declaration.

    (b) It is necessary to provide statewide laws concerning the possession and ownership of a firearm to ensure that law-abiding persons are not unfairly placed in the position of unknowingly committing crimes involving firearms.

    Source: L. 2003: Entire article added, p. 652, § 2, effective March 18."

    I would like to close in saying that I have not had any issues with your Deputies before, however the Deputy mentioned above dose put a sour taste in my mouth. I can understand why some of the people I meet say the things they do about the local Sheriff, when the only contact they have might be this deputy or others like him. I would like to resolve this matter with you directly, my contact information is provided below, but I would also like a formal apology from the Deputy about his rude behavior, followed with remedial training on how to deal politely with "civilians."

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


    And that sums it up. What do y'all think?

    My email is *edited out*

    RebelWolf
    Last edited by RebelWolf; 10-14-2011 at 04:36 PM.

  2. #2
    Campaign Veteran Schlitz's Avatar
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    did you send this already? If not I'd like to point out some spelling errors!
    “The claim and exercise of a constitutional right cannot be converted into a crime.”
    [Miller vs. U.S., 230 F. Supp. 486, 489 (1956)]
    “There can be no sanction or penalty imposed upon one because of his exercise of constitutional rights.”
    [Sherar vs. Cullen, 481 F2d. 946 (1973)]

  3. #3
    Regular Member RebelWolf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Schlitz View Post
    did you send this already? If not I'd like to point out some spelling errors!
    I have not, feel free to pick it apart. I also haven't re-read it for spelling either, so there is bound to be. I'm pretty flustered about this, so spelling wasn't exactly on my mind. I like to write, and welcome scrutiny of my work.

    Thanks,

    RebelWolf

    P.S. My email is *edited out*
    Last edited by RebelWolf; 10-14-2011 at 04:37 PM.

  4. #4
    Founder's Club Member thebigsd's Avatar
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    Rebel Wolf,

    Sorry you had such a poor experience while doing something as simple as checking in your gun. Check your PMs.
    "When seconds count between living or dying, the police are only minutes away."

  5. #5
    Campaign Veteran Schlitz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RebelWolf View Post
    One person was told that they shouldn't we are a particular pair of pants into the courthouse
    should read, "they shouldn't wear"

    I would like to site a couple State Statues for you to review on the notification process that is required by the state,
    the word you meant to use was "cite" as in citing sources.


    Deputy mentioned above dose put a sour taste in my mouth
    You meant to use "does."

    Hope this was a little helpful, this is just a few things but as you can see, these errors REALLY jump out at you.
    Last edited by Schlitz; 10-08-2011 at 12:48 AM.
    “The claim and exercise of a constitutional right cannot be converted into a crime.”
    [Miller vs. U.S., 230 F. Supp. 486, 489 (1956)]
    “There can be no sanction or penalty imposed upon one because of his exercise of constitutional rights.”
    [Sherar vs. Cullen, 481 F2d. 946 (1973)]

  6. #6
    Regular Member RebelWolf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Schlitz View Post
    should read, "they shouldn't wear"


    the word you meant to use was "cite" as in citing sources.



    You meant to use "does."

    Hope this was a little helpful, this is just a few things but as you can see, these errors REALLY jump out at you.
    Yep, again, was flustered and just wanted to get the ideas down. I've plugged it into my editor, and am correcting the errors now that I'm relaxed, and positive about the issue.

    Y'all can email me as well. *edited out*

    @thebigsd: PM received, and email almost sent.

    Rebelwolf
    Last edited by RebelWolf; 10-14-2011 at 04:37 PM.

  7. #7
    Campaign Veteran since9's Avatar
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    "Courthouse Carry?" Why would anyone want to carry a courthouse?

    Sorry - couldn't resist.

    I'll send you an e-mail in a little while.
    Last edited by since9; 10-08-2011 at 03:16 AM.
    The First protects the Second, and the Second protects the First. Together, they protect the rest of our Bill of Rights and our United States Constitution, and help We the People protect ourselves in the spirit of our Declaration of Independence.

  8. #8
    Regular Member RebelWolf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by since9 View Post
    "Courthouse Carry?" Why would anyone want to carry a courthouse?

    Sorry - couldn't resist.
    LOL! I know right? They are very heavy...


    Peace,

    RebleWolf
    Last edited by RebelWolf; 10-08-2011 at 02:50 AM. Reason: DOH!

  9. #9
    Regular Member HandyHamlet's Avatar
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    With respect, no one will read that. It is way too long. If they can't muster the energy to treat you like a human being to your face they won't even look at that. You need to knock it all down to one concise paragraph.
    Last edited by HandyHamlet; 10-08-2011 at 03:07 AM.
    "Don't interfere with anything in the Constitution. That must be maintained, for it is the only safeguard of our liberties."
    Abraham Lincoln

    "Some time ago, a bunch of lefties defied the law by dancing at the Jefferson Memorial, resulting in their arrests. Last week, a bunch of them pulled the same stunt and - using patented Lefist techniques - provoked the Park Police into having to use force to arrest them."
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    Quote Originally Posted by HandyHamlet View Post
    With respect, no one will read that. It is way too long. If they can't muster the energy to treat you like a human being to your face they won't even look at that. You need to knock it all down to one concise paragraph.
    The point of the letter is to get all the details into the record. They might not read it now, but it's available if needed in the future.

    Your point is well taken, though: if there is to be a change right now, it can best be made with a friendly but persuasive face to face chat. If they don't read the letter, the meeting is the place to point out the details.

    But, those details still need to be on the record, in writing, in case nothing changes.

  11. #11
    Campaign Veteran since9's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KBCraig View Post
    But, those details still need to be on the record, in writing, in case nothing changes.
    Exactly. Hopefully, they will read the letter and respond appropriately. If they respond inappropriately, or ignore the letter, then proof of the letter and of it having been sent are vital if the writer wants to elevate this to a higher level, whether that be within the chain of command, or in the media.

    Technically, however, no law was violated, so there's no boom to lower. The best one might hope for is to appeal to the sheriff's good nature and sense of fair play.
    Last edited by since9; 10-09-2011 at 01:20 AM.
    The First protects the Second, and the Second protects the First. Together, they protect the rest of our Bill of Rights and our United States Constitution, and help We the People protect ourselves in the spirit of our Declaration of Independence.

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    Regular Member JamesB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by since9 View Post
    exactly. Hopefully, they will read the letter and respond appropriately. If they respond inappropriately, or ignore the letter, then proof of the letter and of it having been sent are vital if the writer wants to elevate this to a higher level, whether that be within the chain of command, or in the media.

    Technically, however, no law was violated, so there's no boom to lower. The best one might hope for is to appeal to the sheriff's good nature and sense of fair play.
    buaaaaaaccchhhoooo!!!!

  13. #13
    Regular Member RebelWolf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JamesB View Post
    buaaaaaaccchhhoooo!!!!
    LOL! Got a kick out of that.

    Actually, I think the sheriff here is a very decent, fair, and sensible man. Did you read what he wrote about "Dog" the felon... err, bounty hunter? (http://www.kjct8.com/news/28627539/detail.html) He seems to be all about the rules, so I would expect him to be upset when one of his deputies harasses a citizen for following the Law, or "policy." And actually 18-12-214 (d) says that we should be storing weapons with the security guard. It doesn't say that only officers can unitize this "service," which is part of the point in writing this letter. About the only thing that I could possibly see, is the judge creating a policy that denies a citizen from holding weapons at the front. Even then, the excuse of "we don't want to be responsible if a weapon goes missing" is poor, because it's a secure area...

    I don't expect to have to make a complaint higher than the Sheriff, but if needed, I will make further complaints higher up. It kinda depends on the response I get, either way I'll write about this on my website.

    Peace,

    RebelWolf

  14. #14
    Regular Member RebelWolf's Avatar
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    Updae

    I mailed the letter today, so The Sheriff should be getting it on monday, and I'll keep posting updats as things progress. I'll also be updating my blog with the results when they are in. Currently I don't have any information posted on there on this topic (it's drafted), since I'd rather give the Sheriff a chance to respond before I go public with names, letters, and such. I'm not seeking any kind of "retaliation," or legal action, I'm just seeking a peaceful resolution, some agency training, and clarification on the Law. Since there are no posted signs for open carry, and no clear-cut policy (that I've seen), I'm afraid that this will happen to more people that have a CCW and visit the courthouse.

    I appreciate the support that people have shown here, Even though this is not an "open carry" issue. I pay a special thanks to Thebigsd for helping refine the letter to sound much more professional, in such a short amount of time.

    Peace be with you all,

    RebelWolf

  15. #15
    Founder's Club Member thebigsd's Avatar
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    I can't wait to read the response to your letter. Let's see if they decide to follow the law or make up their own. Thanks for the thanks, not necessary but I appreciate it.
    "When seconds count between living or dying, the police are only minutes away."

  16. #16
    Regular Member RebelWolf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by thebigsd View Post
    I can't wait to read the response to your letter. Let's see if they decide to follow the law or make up their own. Thanks for the thanks, not necessary but I appreciate it.
    I give recognition where and when it's due. Had you not helped out, I'd still be revising it! I'll email you the .pdf of the final draft.

    And just to add to all this, I was told that a judge wrote the "policy" on the weapons, so... Be interesting to see how old this "policy" is, and how it really applies. I kind of wonder if there really is a "policy," since I don't know any judge in his/her right mind, that would circumvent the Law in any way--the law doesn't say "leave it locked in your car."

    RebelWolf

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    Campaign Veteran since9's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JamesB View Post
    buaaaaaaccchhhoooo!!!!
    Care to elucidate? Or are inappropriate fifth-grade noises the best you can do?

    This is a discussion forum, JamesB. Please discuss.
    The First protects the Second, and the Second protects the First. Together, they protect the rest of our Bill of Rights and our United States Constitution, and help We the People protect ourselves in the spirit of our Declaration of Independence.

  18. #18
    Campaign Veteran since9's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RebelWolf View Post
    And just to add to all this, I was told that a judge wrote the "policy" on the weapons...
    Writing policy is beyond a judge's purview. That responsibility rests with legislators. Having said that, a judge may, absent other laws or policy to the contrary, run their court as they see fit. Much of the policy is set by the state bar association.

    I don't know any judge in his/her right mind, that would circumvent the Law in any way.
    Happens all the time. There's a certain family court judge in Arkansas who has directly violated Arkansas State Law on several occasions because she erroneously believes my ex was getting the short end of the stick. How or why she believes that given the tens of thousands of dollars my ex has received from me following her decision to seek a divorce is utterly beyond me, but there it is.

    It happens.
    The First protects the Second, and the Second protects the First. Together, they protect the rest of our Bill of Rights and our United States Constitution, and help We the People protect ourselves in the spirit of our Declaration of Independence.

  19. #19
    Regular Member RebelWolf's Avatar
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    Post All laid out

    Hey OCDO,

    As you all know I wrote a letter (with help) to the local sheriff here in Mesa County, and I'm posting everything for y'all to see.

    Here is the final draft that was sent October 10, 2011: Letter to Stan Hilkey.pdf.

    The response, attached here October 19, 2011: Responce to letter from MCSO - Donald Hendricks.pdf

    The SOP for the security at the courthouse, attached here: SOP for the front security gate at courthouse.pdf

    I was going to copy/paste the information in this window, but the format wasn't pulling through.

    The response was pretty fast (9 day turnaround). My letter will go in the offending officers file, and will be brought up in his annual review. I don't find it encouraging to know that an officer doesn't have to apologize for his/her actions to the party that they offended. My parents made me go and apologize when I did something to hurt or offend someone, and that made me Not want to do it again! It's nice that this Captain issued an apology however, and I'm satisfied with that.

    The Chief District Judge, David Bottger, responded to my concerns, and addressed them pretty well (I was impressed that he took the time). He did state some legal stuff (that I haven't digested yet), and overall defended his position on carrying in the courthouse. I don't disagree with most of what he said, nor do I disagree with the policy that he put in place. He did say that the SOP "permits but does not require security deputies to hold [weapons]." The only thing I don't agree with is the last statement, saying "I do not believe that the Sheriff or the court has any obligation to provide storage for persons who bring firearms or other weapons into the Justice Center."

    My opinion on the matter may be regarded as "radical," but if a government entity is going to make it policy that no one can carry a when in a public building, then they should have to provide a safe environment to store weapons that come in. I don't agree that storing a weapon in a vehicle, is secure. Also I don't think that I should have to go unarmed to an establishment where criminals outnumber me 100:1. I carry for self defense, and some of these guys are here because they victimized someone (traffic violations excluded). BUT that is all my Opinion, and I'll have no problem following the rules.

    Hope this is an interesting read, and I hope that it helps someone in the now/future.

    Peace be with you all,

    RebelWolf

  20. #20
    Founder's Club Member thebigsd's Avatar
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    So, overall I think you got a decent response. It looks like they took you seriously and provided a detailed response (they get a wee little bit of credit for that) that basically addressed your concerns. I do wonder how judges end up with with the authority to make courthouse regulations that appear to clash with state law. They should rule on cases and that's it. The response regarding Rowe was the typical "we'll talk to him" respons, and about as good as you could have hoped for. At the very least, you have a clear written policy regarding carry and storage at the courthouse.
    "When seconds count between living or dying, the police are only minutes away."

  21. #21
    Campaign Veteran since9's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by thebigsd View Post
    I do wonder how judges end up with with the authority to make courthouse regulations that appear to clash with state law.
    Simple. Appeals can cost twice as much as the original court case, and the one appealing the judge's decision foots the bill.

    One solution might be to have the judge foot the bill if their decision is overturned in any manner by a higher court. I think that would constitute some serious incentive to get it right the first time. Fat chance of getting this into legislation, though. The gubbermint protects its own.
    The First protects the Second, and the Second protects the First. Together, they protect the rest of our Bill of Rights and our United States Constitution, and help We the People protect ourselves in the spirit of our Declaration of Independence.

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