More Judges Carrying handguns
By Amanda Bronstad
The National Law Journal
Despite increased security at courthouses following shootings in Chicago and Atlanta about one year ago, many judges are bringing their own guns into their courtrooms for protection. . . .
In Nevada, Oklahoma and Texas, incidences of violence in the past year have prompted new laws or solidified rules allowing judges to bring guns into courtrooms.
"Judges in our courthouse have been carrying guns almost all the time," said Cynthia Stevens Kent, a Texas judge in the 114th District Court, where a man in a family law case killed his ex-wife and son last year on the steps of a Tyler courthouse.
"We feel strongly about providing adequate security, but it comes down to personal responsibility. And you've got to take responsibility for your own safety," Kent said.
Security concerns were raised last year after a rape suspect grabbed a deputy's gun and killed an Atlanta judge and others. One month earlier, a litigant had killed the husband and mother of a Chicago federal judge who ruled against him. . . .