(IN) Police told to leave guns at door


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Drizzt
July 22, 2003, 07:03 PM
Police told to leave guns at door

Lake County judges want no guns in court, but officers warn of dangerous situations.

Associated Press
July 22, 2003

CROWN POINT, Ind. -- Judges and police officials are squaring off over a suggestion to turn Lake County courthouses into gun-free workplaces.

Judges support the idea, but officers call it dangerous.

A majority of Superior Court judges issued an order last month requiring everyone -- including police officers -- who enters county government buildings in Crown Point, East Chicago, Gary and Hammond to check their guns at the front door.

The only exceptions: the judges' own security force and officers who are escorting prisoners.

The policy has been withdrawn for additional review, but the judges stand behind it.

"It's inappropriate for police officers to come into the courtrooms with weapons on them. It's not necessary," Judge Gerald Svetanoff told The Times of Munster for a story Monday.

The judges' plan has triggered an angry reaction from some police departments.

Merrillville Police Chief John Shelhart asked the judges to reconsider in a letter to Chief Superior Court Judge James Danikolas.

Dyer Police Chief Donald Parker said in a letter to the judges that the police would put the "officers and everyone else in peril."

The Lake County Council also took the officers' side this month. The council approved an ordinance banning guns carried by the general public and non-police employees, but allowed law enforcement officers to carry weapons when on duty.

County commissioners have yet to sign that proposed ordinance into county law.

In the meantime, Danikolas agreed to withdraw the policy while judges and court security officials re-examine it.

Police have argued that some county courthouses have inadequate gun lockers and that many officers are forbidden from leaving their guns in their squad cars because they could be stolen.

Superior Court Judge John Pera said he worries about people in his courtroom reaching out and grabbing police officers' weapons when they walk by.

Not all judges agree with the no-guns policy, including Judge Clarence Murray, who said asking an officer to remove his gun showed a lack of understanding about the connection an officer has with his weapon.

"It's part of their uniform, part of their code," Murray said. "I always found it a comfort to have an armed officer in the court."

Pera disagreed.

"In my view, and I know this isn't a popular thing to say in terms of the police chiefs, but just because an incident hasn't occurred, doesn't mean one won't occur," he said.

http://www.indystar.com/print/articles/1/059727-9731-009.html

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El Tejon
July 22, 2003, 07:11 PM
Considering judges have guns up on the bench, why are they so frightened of the Hammond, Whiting, East Chicago or Gary PD?:confused:

pax
July 22, 2003, 07:17 PM
Sauce for the goose, sauce for the gander.

pax

The police of a state should never be stronger or better armed than the citizenry. An armed citizenry, willing to fight, is the foundation of civil freedom. -- Robert Heinlein

Lord Grey Boots
July 22, 2003, 07:19 PM
I guess the armed court security won't have their guns snatched "as they walk by" either.

The judge's argument doesnt make sense.

Drjones
July 22, 2003, 07:32 PM
The judges' plan has triggered an angry reaction from some police departments.

Awwww....da big govewmint doesn't wike it when it can't do what it wants, huh?

Ditto Pax.

I wish I could read more stories like this.

Fed168
July 22, 2003, 07:34 PM
Clearly a lack of understanding on the judge's part. They may enter the courtroom, but without their issued gavel and harsh voice.

That will make the courtroom safer for everyone.

DJJ
July 22, 2003, 10:43 PM
Double ditto. If the people don't have them, the police don't need them.

Standing Wolf
July 22, 2003, 10:46 PM
The only exceptions: the judges' own security force and officers who are escorting prisoners.

Exceptions, exceptions, exceptions! Curiously, our social betters never think to make exceptions for us commoners.

Raymond VanDerLinden
July 23, 2003, 07:37 AM
So you believe that the person on trail for killing your spouse and Children, whom you Saw do the act, should be allowed to bring his firearms to court? After all he is a Citizen Right?

Also you would have no problem with having the Father of a girl that you were wrongfully charged with Raping and Killing sitting behind you with his .45 when you are found not guilty?

Give me a break!!! Please!!!!

TheeBadOne
July 23, 2003, 08:14 AM
What is becoming standard in courtrooms across the country is that only on-duty LEO's are allowed to carry their sidearms in the courthouse, and they have to be there on official business (testifing, guard duty, transport, etc), not just "on-duty".
What this courthouse is trying to do would offend any cop. They are disarming a LEO while he is not only "on-duty", but acting in official capacity while being disarmed. I wonder where the "never relinquish your weapon" golden rule gets shoved. :rolleyes:

SDC
July 23, 2003, 08:18 AM
"So you believe that the person on trail for killing your spouse and Children, whom you Saw do the act, should be allowed to bring his firearms to court? After all he is a Citizen Right?

Also you would have no problem with having the Father of a girl that you were wrongfully charged with Raping and Killing sitting behind you with his .45 when you are found not guilty?

Give me a break!!! Please!!!!"

Uhhh, who said ANYTHING about allowing the ACCUSED to possess or carry a firearm (let alone any other potential weapon)? As for some relatives of someone that you're accused of trying to harm or kill, what makes you think that the courthouse offers you any sort of protection? If they want to kill you, they could just as easily do it on the courthouse steps, or in your driveway at home :rolleyes: It sounds to me like you believe that ordinary people are just too unstable to be trusted with firearms.

sm
July 23, 2003, 08:30 AM
Ditto pax
Ditto Standing Wolf, DJJ and DRJones

FWIW, I have been a juror, and foreman numerous times. I have also had the accused, the accused family/friends threaten my life and my family numerous times... including in front of Judge and Baliff.

I still agree with pax

Raymond VanDerLinden
July 23, 2003, 08:37 AM
that if I accuse you of a crime, or you are charged with a crime you lose your rights until found to be not guilty? If all innocent Citizens should be allowed to carry in court then until found guilty you are considered innocent in this Country. Therefore you would have to be allowed to carry into court until the verdict.

SDC, if you would not question your own stability if your Daughter was raped and murdered............... well I pity your Daughter.

Next, Where did I say the Goverment Owes or should Owe you any protection, except when you are in Goverment Custody, you know like inside a courtroom.

As to what I believe about RKBA.................. well Sir, I don't think you know me. I would fill you in on my beliefs except I have to leave for a Class.

hammer4nc
July 23, 2003, 08:42 AM
Police have argued that some county courthouses have inadequate gun lockers and that many officers are forbidden from leaving their guns in their squad cars because they could be stolen.

Interesting how practical problems with gun bans in public buildings suddenly become an issue only when they affect those who expect to be exempted from the law? Hypocrites.

lapidator
July 23, 2003, 10:43 AM
[pure speculation]

I wonder if this is evidence of increasingly poor quality LEOs? Perhaps the judges have decided they have as much to fear from LEOs as they do from defendants?

[/pure speculation]

Lapidator

GinSlinger
July 23, 2003, 10:54 AM
While I agree with Pax etal, what I am MOST surprised with is that no one has commented on this:
A majority of Superior Court judges issued an order last month requiring everyone -- including police officers -- who enters county government buildings in Crown Point, East Chicago, Gary and Hammond to check their guns at the front door.

No longer satisfied with inventing law in the form of rulings, these judges have decided to take it a step further. The judges issued an order?!? I'm sorry, I can't find the words right now. Might as well stop electing city/county governments up there in Ill, the judges can take care of it with their orders. *shakes head and walks away*

GinSlinger

El Tejon
July 23, 2003, 11:09 AM
Gin, the power of direct contempt is truly terrifying.:uhoh: Especially for those that face it everyday!:D Eddie Haskell up.

cordex
July 23, 2003, 11:23 AM
Well, the way I see it, any argument that can be made against "mere civilians" carrying in a courthouse can be made against LEOs.

And one more time for everyone who wasn't paying attention:
The same allowance that provides for disarmament in a courthouse also allows municipalities to create "gun free zones" in parks, city offices or any other property controlled by the city.

If they can, they will, right El Tee?

SDC
July 23, 2003, 01:55 PM
It's accepted practice that persons IN CUSTODY lose most of the rights they have to self-protection; that responsibility is supposed to fall onto the people holding them in custody. Your other point makes no more sense, however; unless you're suggesting that the victim of a crime, the accused in that crime, and the extended families of both of those parties all lose their rights to self-preservation and the RKBA, your "solution" doesn't even begin to make sense. If a father believes that I raped his daughter and got away with it, he could kill me not only in the courtroom, he could kill me in ANY OTHER conceivable place just as easily.

Drjones
July 23, 2003, 02:03 PM
So you believe that the person on trail for killing your spouse and Children, whom you Saw do the act, should be allowed to bring his firearms to court? After all he is a Citizen Right? :rolleyes:

Yes, I believe that accused criminals should be allowed to carry guns.

:rolleyes:

Drjones
July 23, 2003, 02:05 PM
the power of direct contempt is truly terrifying How so?

Mike Irwin
July 23, 2003, 02:27 PM
Ultimately, it really comes down to the fact that in a judge's court room, the judge is the law, and has, in many areas, wide discretionary power over what goes on in court.


"The same allowance that provides for disarmament in a courthouse also allows municipalities to create "gun free zones" in parks, city offices or any other property controlled by the city."

No, I don't think that's the case at all, Cordex.

The powers of a judge in his court room over proceedings and processes go far back into English Common Law, but those powers do not generally extend beyond the court room.

When you talk about municipalities creating gun-free zones, you're talking about a separate branch of government -- legislative vs. judicial.

cordex
July 23, 2003, 02:46 PM
Mike,
In this case, you're right. I didn't pay enough attention to the original article. If the judges are mandating the gewehrfrei zone, then it isn't the same thing or based on the same authority as city councils doing it.

GinSlinger
July 23, 2003, 03:29 PM
Mr. Irwin
The article states that Judges have banned guns from "county government buildings", not just their coutrooms. I believe that this takes contempt and judges discretionary powers far beyond anything in common law. It is a dictate. Why worry about the left? Prepare for the black robe oligarchy.

All rise and bow. Ouie, Ouie.

GinSlinger

Duncan Idaho
July 23, 2003, 03:43 PM
The one redeeming factor that elitist dimwits possess, is that they eventually turn on each other.

To all of the LEOs that never flinched when the non-LEOs rights were taken, CONGRATULATIONS!!!

Hope you don't mind going into court to testify against the 275 lb. murderer as an unarmed boob.

HEH! :fire: :fire: :fire:

Maddogkiller
July 23, 2003, 04:05 PM
Duncan Idaho, that was beautifully stated!

Mike Irwin
July 23, 2003, 04:11 PM
Gin,

I seriously doubt that judges have the authority to ban firearms in all county buildings that aren't court buildings.

If you read the first and third paragraphs, they seem to be at odds.

The question of whether judges could ban firearms in the "court house" is one that's open to quite a bit of question.

I would say that if the buildings are shared jurisdiction, holding both the courts AND other county offices not related to the courts, then the judges are way far out on a limb and their ruling has no legal authority, at least in those areas of the building that are county government, as opposed to county courts.

If the building is solely a center for the administration and process of law, then I'd have to say that yes, they very well may have that authority.

My former Father-in-law was a judge in White Plains, New York. I believe that he became so frustrated with people -- attorneys, defendants, and the public -- that he finally banned all cell phones and pagers from his court room because the interruptions were becoming so incessant.

GinSlinger
July 23, 2003, 04:19 PM
Understood. However, I have never seen a building entirely devoted to the administration of law. Most that I have seen include vehicle registration, prosecutors offices, etc. One judge banning firearms in his courtroom is one thing, however a "majority" of judges voting to ban them building wide is quite another.

GinSlinger

Matthew Courtney
July 24, 2003, 11:28 PM
Cops should not be exempt from any law. Neither should Judges.

The true test of whether a law is good or not is whether it would be a good law if we applied it to everyone.

Sylvilagus Aquaticus
July 24, 2003, 11:52 PM
Only slightly off-topic, but relevant- a Texas incident. Could have saved us 11 years of feeding this piece of trash and the cost of his trial. By the way, the State finally put him down Wed. 7-2-03.
Maybe that judge would have preferred he be equipped with a Taser Belt, but I'd rather he be looking up at a detachment of officers with .45's poinitng at his noggin.

Regards,
Rabbit.

Killer of Arlington optometrist set to die
07/23/2003

Associated Press


HUNTSVILLE, Texas - The long day of jury selection was over and everyone in the Tarrant County courtroom was somewhat relaxed when accused killer Cedric Ransom made his move.

With a 51/2-inch piece of broken glass taped at one end and hidden in his hand, the capital murder defendant tried to stab one of his attorneys in the back. Ignoring orders from a bailiff to back off, Ransom turned his attention to a nearby prosecutor.

"He was coming at me and his words were very clear: 'I'm going to kill you! I'm going to kill you!"' recalled Bob Gill, now a state district judge in Tarrant County. "He got to me and the fight was on. He and I went down. I knew what was in his hand and I grabbed that arm with both my hands."

Neither Gill nor the other attorney, Chris Phillips, was seriously hurt in the November 1992 attack but both were removed from the case.

Ransom went on to trial and was convicted of capital murder for gunning down Herbert Primm, 47, an optometrist and part-time gun dealer, outside Primm's Arlington home Dec. 7, 1991. Ransom was 18 at the time.

Gill wound up being a witness to help show how Ransom was a continuing threat, one of the questions jurors had to answer when determining a death sentence.

Ransom's lethal injection was set to be carried out Wednesday evening.

Ransom, 29, would be the 19th Texas inmate executed this year and the first of two on consecutive nights.

"He was a bad guy," said Richard Bland, one of the prosecutors who worked to convict Ransom. "He was involved with four capital murders in 17 days, robberies of convenience stores.

"Most people go to an ATM to get cash, he'd go to convenience stores and not leave any witnesses."

Ransom's death sentence was overturned in 1994 when the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals ruled his trial judge improperly excluded a potential juror. Prosecutors returned him to court in 1997 for another sentencing trial where, against his lawyers' advice, he took the stand, denied he was guilty of the Primm slaying but confessed to multiple convenience store murders.

The second jury sentenced him to death.

In an appeal awaiting a decision from the U.S. Supreme Court, Ransom contended he was mentally retarded, making him ineligible for execution under a high court ruling in another case last year.

Testimony showed Ransom and three companions went to Primm's house to look at some guns. Primm, who held a federal firearms license, opened the trunk of his car and the four pulled out their own weapons. According to testimony, Primm told the gun thieves to "just take them" but Ransom bent him over the hood of the car and then shot Primm once in the head with a .44-caliber pistol. He was arrested three days later.

While locked up in Fort Worth, records showed he attacked a jailer. And while on death row outside Huntsville, he and a second condemned inmate used a hacksaw blade to cut through a fence in 1997, climbed to the roof of the prison, then were making a run across an open area to try to scale a pair of perimeter fences when they were spotted by an officer who ordered them to halt.

"There is no question at all," said Gill. "This is one of the more dangerous guys I've come across in 20 years in the criminal courts."

Ransom, a ninth-grade dropout, declined to speak with reporters from death row in the weeks leading up to his scheduled punishment. His three companions during the Primm slaying also are in prison, serving terms of at least 20 years.

"We had a couple of the codefendants to testify against him," Gill said. "We had information that connected him to the operation before hand and connected him to the murder weapon. One or more of the guns stolen from the victim were found at his residence.

"It turned out all right. He got what I feel he deserved."

On Thursday evening, Allen Wayne Janecka faces lethal injection for being the hitman in a murder-for-hire plot that left four members of a Houston family dead. Among the victims was 14-month-old Kevin Wanstrath, who was fatally shot in his crib in 1979.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Online at: http://www.wfaa.com/latestnews/stories/072303dntexexecute.b7d01c45.html

Coronach
July 25, 2003, 12:44 AM
This is a problematic policy.

If you are disarming LEOs in a courthouse on personal business, that is one matter. Good for the goose, good for the gander. A LEO has no more need to tote his sidearm to a divorce proceeding than any other citizen. However, if he is in court in performance of his duty as a law enforcement officer, in uniform, he should be armed. Period.

FWIW, I'm fully in favor of gun bans in courthouses. And yes, when I go to the courthouse on personal business, the sidearm stays at home.

Mike

Maddogkiller
July 25, 2003, 01:52 AM
FWIW, I'm fully in favor of gun bans in courthouses. And yes, when I go to the courthouse on personal business, the sidearm stays at home.

I hope that you don't ever have need of it between your home and the courthouse.
I also hope that a fellow citizen will not be in need of your intervention while you are unarmed.

Coronach
July 25, 2003, 02:34 AM
I agree, but the gunlocker situation is sub-optimal at the local court house. There's a truckvault in my future, though...

Mike

Duncan Idaho
July 25, 2003, 03:19 AM
A LEO has no more need to tote his sidearm to a divorce proceeding than any other citizen.So the LEO keeps his gun in the truck vault instead of taking it into the court. And since the gun is banned inside the courtroom, we have to assume that it is because some of us believe that courthouses possess some magical quality that separates them from other edifices, correct?

But wait!!! Lo and behold! We didn't want the hypothetical LEO to have his weapon in the magic building, and yet, after losing everything in court, he goes to his truck vault, and shoots his ex on the sidewalk. :rolleyes: Good thing we (the idiot taxpayers) paid a couple hundred grand a year to have Winkin', Blinkin', and Nod disarming the sheeple as they came in to the magic building. :rolleyes: :banghead:

Or maybe he stalks her later that evening and stabs her. Good thing they disarmed all the sheeple in the courthouse...right? That sure helped her out! Didn't it?

We Agro-American types have a name for places that feature unarmed sheeple herds. We call them scumbag-murderer-bait-stations.

Oddly enough, one never hears of big-time shoot 'em ups at the locales that us rednecks congregate in. Not a lot of mass shootings at the gunshow. And yet, there are guns laid out on tables as far as the eye can see!?! How curious. :rolleyes:

Oh well, I reckon that I will just give the bait stations a wide berth. You sheeple are on your own. God bless, and keep you, 'cause I sure won't. :barf: :banghead: :cuss:

Coronach
July 25, 2003, 04:03 AM
So the LEO keeps his gun in the truck vault instead of taking it into the court. And since the gun is banned inside the courtroom, we have to assume that it is because some of us believe that courthouses possess some magical quality that separates them from other edifices, correct?No. Its just a building, in where guilt an innocence is decided (in criminal cases) and other legal matters are resolved. As such, its best that the people going before the court are disarmed. And, rather than accomplishing this in a poor manner (like simple rules banning guns, which only the law abiding obey) there are actually guards and deputies present to enforce the rules and protect the people going before the court.But wait!!! Lo and behold! We didn't want the hypothetical LEO to have his weapon in the magic building, and yet, after losing everything in court, he goes to his truck vault, and shoots his ex on the sidewalk. Good thing we (the idiot taxpayers) paid a couple hundred grand a year to have Winkin', Blinkin', and Nod disarming the sheeple as they came in to the magic building.

Or maybe he stalks her later that evening and stabs her. Good thing they disarmed all the sheeple in the courthouse...right? That sure helped her out! Didn't it?Irrelevant. The violence was prevented where the disarmament took place. The fact that it could occur later is not a valid argument. And, yes, I'm very much in favor of CCW and open carry, outside of venues where there is a bonafide need for security and actual security in place. This is my beef with most victim disarmament zones. If you compell disarmament, it had best be necessary, and you better have armed guards there to protect the people you just disarmed. This is done at a courthouse. This is not done in a school safety zone, or your average government building.

Mike

Orthonym
July 25, 2003, 04:39 AM
I think we do it better in Florida. I believe the state statute says that the judge is the sole authority on who may or may not be armed in the courtroom, regardless of any other laws. We used to have a judge in this county who was famous for keeping a Thompson under the bench. There was a power failure in his court, once, and when the lights came on again there was the judge hunkered down behind the bench, covering (generally) the whole room and (specifically) the Defense table. I don't think that fellow would have taken any nonsense from ANYONE, be he private or public. Unfortunately, the old guy is no longer with us.

Duncan Idaho
July 25, 2003, 12:34 PM
The violence was prevented where the disarmament took place.Hence the call by Eve in the one mommy march to ban rocks after Cain whacked Abel. :rolleyes: If you compell disarmament, it had best be necessary, and you better have armed guards there to protect the people you just disarmed. This is done at a courthouse. This is not done in a school safety zone, or your average government building.It was also just done at the Brooklyn City Hall. The victim is dead as a doorknob. The armed plain clothes police officer was unable to kill the assailant until after he had succeeded. Then again, that the assailant was armed was more a function of the idea that some animals are more equal than others. The victim's status as a cop, and a city councilman allowed him to escort his killer around the metal detectors that only the sheeple must pass through.

If disarmament is compelled, those doing the compelling will always exclude themselves. After all, who is going to stop them? The unarmed sheeple? Yeah, right. :rolleyes: :scrutiny: :uhoh: :barf:

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