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Courts, encounters with locking up pistols while visiting.

Freedom1Man

Regular Member
Joined
Jan 14, 2012
Messages
4,463
Location
Greater Eastside Washington
#1
This is a thread to inform our fellow open carriers about any positive or negative (legal/illegal) interactions with courts while carrying at all.

In example, you are forced to show ID to store your pistols while visiting a court house, a court house does not have lock boxes, maybe a court house has zero hassle lock boxes.

Please sticky this for our Washington domiciled individuals.
 

Freedom1Man

Regular Member
Joined
Jan 14, 2012
Messages
4,463
Location
Greater Eastside Washington
#2
Okay, I'll kick this one off then.

Kirkland municipal court did not have a lock box until I make a stink about it. That one cost me some cash...
[video=youtube_share;D-YxIqB4GEY]http://youtu.be/D-YxIqB4GEY[/video]

Evergreen District court required some education and they fixed their thing up real quickly.

Snohomish county, superior court building, required a CPL + ID to get my guns locked up while visiting.

Please share your stories, updates, heads up, etc here in this thread.
 

Samantha

Regular Member
Joined
May 3, 2012
Messages
29
Location
Blaine
#3
Last time I was at Bellingham municipal court (about two years ago) they required I.D and a cpl The Whatcom county court asks for just I.D and they write down your information in a notebook and issue you a key to a lock box.
 

509rifas

Regular Member
Joined
Mar 7, 2013
Messages
252
Location
Yakima County
#4
I've had nothing but positive experience.
When I was on jury duty, the first day I left the gun in my car and then brought it in on my lunch when I had plenty of time left to go through whatever motions there may have been, and told the deputies I was selected and wanted to know about the procedure for when I went in through the no-search area. (they only recently added the metal detectors in Yakima County due to a couple recent incidents.) They told me just come in like the rest of the jurors and turn it in.
The next day when I came in I approached the deputy at the detectors (I was behind the search area) and told him I was a juror and I needed to check in a weapon. He asked what kind of weapon and I said "a sidearm," he looked at me surprised and said "how did you get it in here?!" I told him the deputy the day before told me to just bring it in like everyone else and turn it in. I asked if it was a problem or if in the coming week I should come in through the public door, he told me to standby, then said it was fine, just turn do what I did.

I was initially concerned about the "restricted access" part of the RCW, but the signs posted were identical (and I took pictures) to the signs on the front public entrance, and I was told by different deputies that bringing it in through that door was not a problem. Also, during the deliberations, one of the jurors who was the wife of a retired deputy and friends with the county sheriff, she disagreed with my verdict and tried to get me arrested/taken off the jury ( and I know this for sure because I heard her talking about it braggingly about how I was about to be removed), and then when that didn't work she tried bringing that up in deliberations "why would you bring a gun in here!?" and all that nonsense. I did see the Sheriff in there that morning talking to her; i don't know what he said, but I was not contacted by anyone about the gun, and the next day I brought it in with no problems, deliberations proceeded as normal.

Coincidentally, the county Sheriff is the only republican I have ever voted for in my life, for his views that I agree with, many of which are off topic, but include that he has publicly stated that he will not have his department enforcing any laws that he feels conflict with the Second Amendment (this was in the wake of the most recent push for an "Assault" Weapon Ban) and in my area has encouraged citizens to arm themselves in order to deal with crime around here.

All in all, my experience with carrying guns at the courthouse was all positive. The deputies were very respectful and polite, did not treat me like a criminal for bearing arms or ask me stupid questions like "why do you carry" (to be fair I've never been asked that by any cop, even in less than positive encounters.) They did ask me for my CPL to keep with my pistol. I had my DL and CPL in separate places, and I asked and they said they only needed the CPL. I didn't do a PRA request so I don't know if they even ran it, but they did ask to keep it. I believe but am not sure that the CPL was just placed in the locker. I know after the first day it was, but I don't know if they ran it the first day. Either way, all went well.


To answer questions from the original post:
I was asked for my CPL, they kept my CPL with my weapon until I left. I was concealing. I was told I didn't need to unchamber it, just put it in the locker, so I assume they just locked it up and dealt with the real concerns of their job. Woo YSO!
 

Last edited:
Joined
Dec 13, 2008
Messages
16,690
Location
Whatcom County
#5
Last time I was at Bellingham municipal court (about two years ago) they required I.D and a cpl The Whatcom county court asks for just I.D and they write down your information in a notebook and issue you a key to a lock box.
They shouldn't be doing that now. They don't even require ID that took me about a year of discussing with the city attorney and going in and saying no to ID. Then all of sudden walla, they moved the lock boxed to a locked hallway, they don't ask for ID and they give you the key. Which now complies with state law.
 

Joined
Dec 13, 2008
Messages
16,690
Location
Whatcom County
#6
I was asked for my CPL, they kept my CPL with my weapon until I left. I was concealing. I was told I didn't need to unchamber it, just put it in the locker, so I assume they just locked it up and dealt with the real concerns of their job. Woo YSO!

State law does not say they can ask for ID and states if they have lockers you get the key.
 

MSG Laigaie

Campaign Veteran
Joined
Jan 10, 2011
Messages
3,153
Location
Philipsburg, Montana
#7
I have been in the Bellingham courthouse a half dozen times or more in the last six months. I walk straight in and go directly to the LEOs at the metal detector. I always ask for a key even if I am not going into the "restricted area. I tell them that I have a bit of "first floor business" to do before I go thru the metal detector. No ID request , when I am done , I give the key back. No worries.
 

Joined
Dec 13, 2008
Messages
16,690
Location
Whatcom County
#8
I have been in the Bellingham courthouse a half dozen times or more in the last six months. I walk straight in and go directly to the LEOs at the metal detector. I always ask for a key even if I am not going into the "restricted area. I tell them that I have a bit of "first floor business" to do before I go thru the metal detector. No ID request , when I am done , I give the key back. No worries.

Bellingham or Whatcom County, they both are close and in Bellingham.

I OC on my first floor business. I am proud of the fact that I got them to rearrange the ropes so you don't have to go through security for first floor business since all the courts are on the upper floors.
 

jt59

Regular Member
Joined
Jul 19, 2010
Messages
1,025
Location
Central South Sound
#10
Bellingham or Whatcom County, they both are close and in Bellingham.

I OC on my first floor business. I am proud of the fact that I got them to rearrange the ropes so you don't have to go through security for first floor business since all the courts are on the upper floors.
Clallam County building is the same way...it's a little confusing from the street with the signage that says "no weapons in restricted areas" out side the entrance, but the court area's are upstairs....the inside signage prohibits you in the stairways going upstairs and (I think) the elevator.

They have lockers down a little hallway to the right as you head toward the Sheriff's office, put in your sidearm and take the key...you don't need to talk to anyone at all. Jefferson is the same way.

Here is my post on Tacoma, just to get it in this thread..


I had business there, and decided to go early and "go" through the process for checking my sidearm....I intentionally did not argue, debate the law, or in any other way make a fuss with officer Friendly.

I stood in the lower level entry and got the attention of security and said I needed to check a firearm....the security guy was friendly, and gave me directions to go to the second floor, back entrance (I knew this, but wanted to see how they handled the question).

I then proceeded to the 2nd story back entrance and after entering, got the attention of another security guard and said "I need to check a firearm"... he was mildly confused by my request, but recovered and contacted Pierce County Sherriff's dept. for assistance.

I had to exit and come back in, and just on the right of the right of the entry, was a door. The officer, came up and directed me into the room. The room had two types of lock boxes, some with key's like the airport, others were older style, but did not have individual keys. The officer had them on his ring....

I decided, also to do this concealed carry, to see what kind of response or inquiry for my documents he may make...

He was very professional, opened the locker, I took my (loaded, locked and cocked 1911) out of my holster, verified the safety on and placed in the locker. He suggested that I also put it in the holster, as it was likely the security folks wouldn't quite now what to do with the empty holster along with my belt and other stuff when I went through security. I took my belt off and stripped the holster, reached into the locker and withdrew my pistol and stuck in the holster and put the whole works back in the locker (I also positioned it so I could tell if it was moved)...

He had me fill out a short form, locked the door and handed me a plastized "locker #6" retreival card and that was it. Didn't ask for my ID, CPL and let me handle the firearm loaded, twice...no worries.

I pressed him for the key, but he said you get the card, not a key...I let it pass and went about my business...couple hours later, ready to leave, reversed the steps, he attended me while he opened the locker, I took the gun out, still in the holster, rebelted it, shook hands....thank you very much ...have a nice weekend, sir, says officer Friendly and I'm on my way....

Except for the key thing, Really no tribble at all, the retrieval card was not an issue....and I am confident the gun stayed in the locker while I was conducting my business...

So, there it is...
 

Last edited:

EMNofSeattle

Regular Member
Joined
Aug 7, 2012
Messages
3,671
Location
S. Kitsap, Washington state
#13
Brad98801 said:
Just went to visit a friend who is currently on "Vacation" in the Chelan County jail and was told the weapon lock boxes are for LE only
Well if the jail is accessible through the courthouse you should enter through there and the law requires that they keep a lockbox.

and if the jail is detached and you have a CPL then these are the applicable laws

RCW 9.41.300
Weapons prohibited in certain places — Local laws and ordinances — Exceptions — Penalty.

(1) It is unlawful for any person to enter the following places when he or she knowingly possesses or knowingly has under his or her control a weapon:

(a) The restricted access areas of a jail, or of a law enforcement facility, or any place used for the confinement of a person (i) arrested for, charged with, or convicted of an offense, (ii) held for extradition or as a material witness, or (iii) otherwise confined pursuant to an order of a court, except an order under chapter 13.32A or 13.34 RCW. Restricted access areas do not include common areas of egress or ingress open to the general public;

..............................................
(8) Subsection (1)(a) of this section does not apply to a person licensed pursuant to RCW 9.41.070 who, upon entering the place or facility, directly and promptly proceeds to the administrator of the facility or the administrator's designee and obtains written permission to possess the firearm while on the premises or checks his or her firearm. The person may reclaim the firearms upon leaving but must immediately and directly depart from the place or facility.
............................
I would look into that. It seems they may not be in compliance with the law.
 

brad98801

Regular Member
Joined
Sep 17, 2012
Messages
42
Location
Wenatchee,Washington
#15
The jail is in the same building as the courthouse ill talk to a supervisor or someone higher up about it next time I go in


Just got this email from whom I assume is a Sgt at the Chelan County Jail.

"There are no weapons allowed inside the jail. Therefore there are no public weapon lockers in the jail, so if you are planning to visit an inmate please do not bring your weapon(s) with you.



Sgt. McCallister"
 

Thor80

Regular Member
Joined
Jan 8, 2011
Messages
299
Location
Spokane County, WA
#16
Just got this email from whom I assume is a Sgt at the Chelan County Jail.

"There are no weapons allowed inside the jail. Therefore there are no public weapon lockers in the jail, so if you are planning to visit an inmate please do not bring your weapon(s) with you.



Sgt. McCallister"

Sounds like you have some work ahead of you. EMN posted the reason why they should have a locker or designated official to keep your side-arm. Here at Geiger Correctional they have public lockers for whatever you want to store that is not allowed in the visitors area....

Also a point you can bring up to the Sgt is there are no weapons allowed in areas of the court either, but they provide storage per state law....

-Thor
 

Last edited:

EMNofSeattle

Regular Member
Joined
Aug 7, 2012
Messages
3,671
Location
S. Kitsap, Washington state
#17
Just got this email from whom I assume is a Sgt at the Chelan County Jail.

"There are no weapons allowed inside the jail. Therefore there are no public weapon lockers in the jail, so if you are planning to visit an inmate please do not bring your weapon(s) with you.



Sgt. McCallister"
But do you access the jail by entering the court house? if so they must check your weapon as if you are going to watch a trial. in that case just check your gun. if they won't check it then I would go for a Writ of Mandamus against the county ordering them to recognize state law. if the jail is accessed through a different entrance, then this is what you can do

passive: You go to the courthouse, check your gun, slip out and do your business at the jail. then come back to the court house and retrieve your pistol.

Aggressive: Go to the jail entrance, with an audio recorder, and tell the security person "In accordance with RCW 9.41.0300 (8) I would like to proceed immediately to the administrator of this facility to check my lawful firearm for safekeeping while I do business at this jail"

the one thing that I would ask a lawyer about, since the statute i just referenced says
(8) Subsection (1)(a) of this section does not apply to a person licensed pursuant to RCW 9.41.070 who, upon entering the place or facility, directly and promptly proceeds to the administrator of the facility or the administrator's designee and obtains written permission to possess the firearm while on the premises or checks his or her firearm. The person may reclaim the firearms upon leaving but must immediately and directly depart from the place or facility.
does that establish a duty on the part of the administrator to check your firearm? I think so, but hopefully the Mighty Rapgood can read this thread and provide his thoughts on the matter
 

brad98801

Regular Member
Joined
Sep 17, 2012
Messages
42
Location
Wenatchee,Washington
#19
But do you access the jail by entering the court house? if so they must check your weapon as if you are going to watch a trial. in that case just check your gun. if they won't check it then I would go for a Writ of Mandamus against the county ordering them to recognize state law. if the jail is accessed through a different entrance, then this is what you can do

passive: You go to the courthouse, check your gun, slip out and do your business at the jail. then come back to the court house and retrieve your pistol.

Aggressive: Go to the jail entrance, with an audio recorder, and tell the security person "In accordance with RCW 9.41.0300 (8) I would like to proceed immediately to the administrator of this facility to check my lawful firearm for safekeeping while I do business at this jail"

the one thing that I would ask a lawyer about, since the statute i just referenced says

does that establish a duty on the part of the administrator to check your firearm? I think so, but hopefully the Mighty Rapgood can read this thread and provide his thoughts on the matter
To sound more clearer the jail sheriffs office and courthouse is all in the same building just on different floors sheriffs office is in the basement jail is on the main floor and the actual courtrooms where the security check point is is up on the 5th floor im not too sure if the jail staff is the same as the security that's by the court rooms I have another visit to go see my friend in the jail on Monday so after I get done with that ill do some more poking around and see what I can come up with
 

Munkey Butt

Regular Member
Joined
Sep 5, 2012
Messages
145
Location
Chehalis
#20
Lewis County Courthouse

Went to the Lewis County Courthouse with the Fiance to get paperwork for her concealed. Sheriffs Office is on the first floor just past the metal detectors.

Went in and got the attention of the security guard, told him I'd like to secure my sidearm. He walked into his little windowed office and on the table in there was a small 6 drawer Rolodex type deal in which were tags with keys. He asked for a DL and for me to slide it under the glass, he then slid the key to me and pointed to a set of lock boxes and said, "Number One". Unholstered from my serpa slid my sidearm into the box and locked up. Continued with the normal security screening then walked to the SO window. Took care of business, leaving was a breeze. No issues, the security guard was friendly and handled everything professional.

PJ
 

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