Friday, October 27, 2017

Courthouse Storage for Self Defense Guns Filed in Florida

Florida is considering a bill to minimize the restriction on Second Amendment rights at courthouses. From
A measure that would allow people with concealed-weapons licenses to store firearms with security officers at courthouses was filed Monday in the state House for the 2018 Legislative Session.

The proposal (HB 383) by Rep. Cord Byrd, a Neptune Beach Republican, is identical to a measure (SB 134) filed in August by Senate Judiciary Chairman Greg Steube, a Sarasota Republican.

This year, a version of the bill passed the Senate 19-15, but died in the House.

There have always been practical exceptions to the exercise of the Second Amendment.  Prisoners of war are disarmed. They do not have the rights of citizens of the country.  People who are locked up for crimes are not allowed to have arms. They have forfeited their rights. People are not allowed to bring weapons into prisons. In the Supreme Court decision of Heller, mention is made of "government buildings" and "sensitive areas". Courthouses are a place where arms have been excluded, off and on, for about a hundred and fifty years.

The problem with creating "gun free zones" is that it creates serious obstacles for people who wish to exercise their fundamental right to keep and bear arms. Court houses are particularly problematic. The state may require you to enter them, and require you to leave your personal protective weapons outside. Guns are often stolen from parked vehicles, and courthouse parking lots are a concentrator for criminals.

On the issue of fundamental rights, legislatures are expected to create law that is minimally  disruptive of exercise of the right. In Arizona, we require public buildings that ban the carry of firearms to provide for safe storage of the firearms while the person is disarmed. Mostly, the government entities use lockboxes.

In our government of checks and balances, the three branches of government have limited power over each other. The power of the legislature and executive branch to order the courts to do things in the courthouse is limited.

Requiring the courts to reasonably accommodate the exercise of a fundamental right, such as the right to keep and bear arms, falls within that power.

Florida is not alone in examining this issue. Texas and other states are currently in the middle of a Legislative vs Judicial fight. The Texas Attorney General is in the middle of a lawsuit to require public buildings to allow the exercise of the Second Amendment. The law bans guns in court rooms, but not in the entire building that houses the court.

Wyoming limits gun bans to the courtroom, after a judge attempted to ban guns in the entire courthouse.

These accommodations for people exercising the right to bear arms are a logical response to more people exercising the right.

As of 2017, over 16 million people in the United States have carry permits, 13 states do not require a permit for carrying a weapon openly or concealed.  30 states do not require a permit to openly carry a weapon.

©2017 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.

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1 comment:

RetMSgt said...

In the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, court facilities (as defined) are required to provide "lockers or similar facilities at no charge or cost for the temporary checking of firearms" under the provisions of 18 Pa. C.S. § 913(e). They are also required to provide signage of such. This usually is (illegally) limited to county court houses and rarely includes local magisterial district courts, but storage facilities are even provided at the state capitol in Harrisburg since that houses the State Supreme Court. The actual procedure may vary from county to county, an in some it's more of an inconvenience than others, but overall I'd say it's no big issue. "Okay, you've got a gun to secure. Whoopee."