Courtroom security


April 12, 2003, 05:09 PM
I read a post on here about Sporting Event Security and it reminded me of something that happen to me a couple months ago.

I was called for Jury Duty. It was February or March I think, still pretty cold here. I had on a heavy leather jacket. I had not thought to much about security at the Court Building. I don't carry a firearm but I started checking my pockets as I noticed the metal detectors. I placed my keys and cell phone in the container and handed it to Sheriff's Deputy working the line. As I walked through the metal detector it went off. I looked at him and he tells me to take off my jacket. Underneath I'm wearing fairly heavy clothing because like I said it was a bit cold out. Anyway I hand him my jacket and he passes it through the x-ray machine. I'm waiting for him to instruct me to walk back through the metal detector. The jacket comes out the other end on the conveyor, he hands it to me and releases me. I was kinda shocked. Who knows what might have been in my pants pockets or under my clothes that had actually set off the detector. This entrance was operated by Deputy Sherriffs so I guess that was what surprised me. Maybe they are just lax because they knew this was a line of mostly people going in for jury duty.

Just thought I would share that.

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Standing Wolf
April 12, 2003, 05:40 PM
I've got jury duty coming up this next week. I see no reason to disarm jurors. In fact, I see no reason to infringe law-abiding American citizens' Second Amendment civil rights in government buildings. It, our government, isn't it?

April 12, 2003, 05:56 PM
These guys have the same problems that security workers at airports have. The job is boring and requires very little mental activity. It is real easy to become lax or get into a routine with shortcuts just to get everyone through with minimal effort.

As for carrying inside courtrooms, we had a pretty good discussion about it back on The Firing Line. Here's ( the link if anyone wants to check it out.

April 12, 2003, 06:08 PM
Kentucky prohibits carry in courthouses, courtrooms and court procedings. In the newer, one-level courthuses, this settles the issue - no carry. In our older courthouse, the business offices are on the ground floor, courtrooms on the second and easily covered, sealed, etc. The enforcement here has been to restrict only the level where court is held. There has been some history in our state (and I'm sure in others) that justify prohibition in the trial areas, so our compromise is a good one.

April 12, 2003, 07:15 PM
I see no reason to disarm jurors. In fact, I see no reason to infringe law-abiding American citizens' Second Amendment civil rights in government buildings. It, our government, isn't it?

I have this crazy idea that it should be a law that you can't just go up to someone and shoot them unless it's in self defense.

April 12, 2003, 08:11 PM
I had federal jury duty a couple of years ago. I called down to the court house to ask what I was to do with my pistol when I got there. The marshal said I could check it at the gate. When I got there I waited in line with my permit and DL. When it was my turn I said I had a gun and he waved me through to another boy who told me to put it, my reload and anything else I wanted in a lock box behind a partition. I had control of my stuff(more or less) instead of them holding it with everyone else's. When I came out, he waved a wand over me and I was on my way. Next day and for the rest of the week, I got to walk right past those in line and did the same thing till my week was up. Sometimes it pays to carry your gun! You get preferential treatment. :D

Standing Wolf
April 12, 2003, 08:51 PM
I have this crazy idea that it should be a law that you can't just go up to someone and shoot them unless it's in self defense.

Yeah, but would the voters go for it?

April 12, 2003, 09:40 PM
The voters around here have felt that way for years, but the politicians have never believed the voters would always include them in the "no shoot" category....wonder why :p

Ala Dan
April 13, 2003, 02:25 AM
Greeting's All.

Courtroom security has been, is, and should always
be tight. Especially, in the aftermath of 09-11!

Here is Alabama that is very true; as we have had "high
profile" cases at both the state and federal level, since
the 1950's. Not to mention the latest 2x 16th Street
Baptist Church bombing cases; but the intentional, will
full act of murdering federal judge Vance with a explosive
device as well.

Judges are persons elected or appointed to those positions,
therefore every effort should be made to protect them; as
well as witness'es, juror's, and the general public attending
the proceedings!

Best Wishes,
Ala Dan, N.R.A. Life Member

April 13, 2003, 08:51 AM
I was thinkg about this 2 weeks ago.I had jury duty and on the announcement it said you'd have to go thru a metal detector.It didn't say you couldn't carry,but I believe in NY it's illegal to carry in state buildings and courts.I was thinking,I'm going a place where is most likely atleast 1 definate bad guy,and I'm not armed.Doesn't make scence.
As an aside how many times have you accidenally carried in a post office or school parking lot???I say if you have a CCW you SHOULD be able to carry,period!!:cool:

April 13, 2003, 10:19 AM
As an aside how many times have you accidenally carried in a post office or school parking lot???I say if you have a CCW you SHOULD be able to carry,period!!
Its not "against the law" to carry in these places, reguardless what the little sign says. If you read the "law" itself, it says "any other lawful purpose".
As for the court house issue. If they dont allow carry within the building, dont they have to provide you with a lock box or secure storage for your gun? This was my concern when I called down to see what the procedure was. If they said there was none, I wasnt going to go and would have fought them in court if necessary. Then again, it would have been Catch-22 to go to court on the charges for the same reason. They have covered themselves all the way around as they cant be sued for not protecting you after disarming you as they have given themselves immunity from such things. If you havent read "Dial 911 or Die" by the JPFO, you really need to. I'm a firm believer in questioning authority, especially when they tell you "take my word for it". BullScheiße !, Make them prove it! They "HAVE" to. You have a right to do as you please, as long as your not violating anyone elses rights, dont you? I mean, this is what the Constitution and the BOR's guarantees's, right? If you take their word for it, you will loose your rights.

April 13, 2003, 02:53 PM
AK103K - actually, the Constitution and BoR don't give you the right to do whatever you want. They just ensure that you'll be free from government prosecution when you act. The act is not, in itself, protected. It is an important distinction, but yeah I'm just being a little nitpicky.

April 13, 2003, 07:04 PM

define/explain pleeeeaase:)

Navy joe
April 13, 2003, 07:24 PM
Hoplophobe, coined by the esteemed Jeff Cooper. Hoplophobia: Irrational fear of an inanimate object. Applied liberally :rolleyes: to liberal gun-banning bed-wetting blissninny sheeppersons.

KY Moose
April 13, 2003, 11:43 PM
It's sad, but most of the people that work court security do not have or get any training what so ever in that duty. Most of the county courthouses that I have been in have assigned their older and less capable deputies and civilian personnel to work court security. At some courthouses I have seen people put brief cases up for the security personnel to inspect and they would just shove it on down the line for the owner to get at the other end without even looking inside. What if someone was carrying Palestinian Samsonite? I guess they would catch it with their X-ray vision. It's just a matter of time before something bad happens at those places.

I worked for the sheriff's department in the court security section, first as part time, then full time. I did this for three years until myself and two other deputies, plus part of the civilian office staff were laid off by the new incoming sheriff. We had a combination of sworn and civilian security personnel. I can say we had some good intelligent people working with us, although we had at least one or two civilian security officers that got the authority complex if you know what I mean. Sad to say those people are still there since it was cheaper for the department to have part-time civilian security rather than pay for deputies.

We had lock boxes at our metal detector at the front entrance of the court house annex for those who wanted to check their weapons and such in with us. Funny thing about that is in three years of working there, nobody brought a firearm to us to check in. For that matter, we never had anyone bring one in illegally either.

We did make a good number of arrests at the metal detector for possession of drugs, public intoxication, and the occasional thug who tried to smuggle an edged weapon in. Sometimes things really got interesting when fights would break out in the lobby, courtroom, and outside.

I had a good deal of people come up and give me their pepper spray, knives, and things for us to hold. Most were very nervous at first about having the spray and knives in the courthouse, but after telling them that carrying self-defense devises was very OK in my book plus it's not illegal to have those things and we would check it in for them, they felt a lot better about it. Matter of fact, when things were slow, some would even come back and ask advice on pepper spray, concealed carry permits, and personal security.

Moral of the story is, court security is something to take seriously while not going overboard about it. That just goes to show departments need to have very capable and well trained people working court security, not the less capable and less intelligent.

April 14, 2003, 03:02 PM
Check out some prison security. I was going in with a group of @ 15 visitors as part of a tour. It was rather warm and we asked if we could leave jackets out front. Was told it would be OK. Well went thru security. THEN told to take jackets with us. I had pocket knife and mace in jacket. BUT allowed to bypass security as we "had already been checked"
I was up in Northern MN and drove by court house. Less then 20 min later came back and area blocked off. Seems a guy was upset about divorce settlement so shot up court building.

Navy joe
April 14, 2003, 03:21 PM
The worst I have seen I executed several times, once with an airline pre-Sep 11, once with a courthouse post sep 11. You walk through the metal detector, it goes off, you tell them it is your steel toe work boots. Security guy wands the boots, they beep, you go on your merry way. Coulda carried a lot of stuff in that way. Some folks need to sharpen up.

April 14, 2003, 04:28 PM
Courthouses are a place where tempers flare, etc... The judges want COMPLETE control - ain't no democracy in a courtroom.

Town where I grew up, there were plastered-over bullet holes in the main courtroom, dating back to the turn of the century.

Dex Sinister
April 15, 2003, 03:10 AM
Here in northern PPK we have an interesting bit of idiocy: All of the government buildings, including the courts, have big “no weapons in this building” signs. Which totally misrepresent the law they cite as it is written.

CA is weird anyway – all laws start off, “No one shall ever, blah, blah, blah” and then 6 paragraphs later you find, “unless you are over 21, or have a permit, or are over 3 foot tall.” But anyway…

Mostly, this doesn’t annoy me, as having looked up the law, which actually says, “no one shall carry a concealed weapon…unless you have a CCW permit, except knives under 4”, etc, etc, and having a CCW, I just ignore the signs.

However, at the courthouse, where there are metal detectors and armed deputies, the law they’re enforcing isn’t the law that is written – they’re enforcing “No Weapons, not even a keychain knife under 1” long.”

I struck up a conversation with the deputies manning the security station, and mentioned my CCW, and was told, “We don’t even allow off-duty deputies to carry in the courthouse, only on duty personnel working at the courthouse can carry.”

Which is all very nice, but their legal authority to exclude pocket knives, no less CCW guns seems awfully questionable, to say the least.


April 15, 2003, 08:39 AM
I have this crazy idea that it should be a law that you can't just go up to someone and shoot them unless it's in self defense.


Doesn't that infringe on my 1st amendment rights to express myself?


Sorry, couldn't resist.

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