11/24/2012

Minnesota judge wants to be able to carry gun with him in court room

What could be the problem with some judges carrying concealed handguns?  This is especially true if carrying is kept a private matter.  Are criminals going to charge judges across 20 to 30 feet of open space on the off chance that they will be carrying and there might be a chance that the criminal will be able to obtain control of the gun?  Florida is one state that let's judges and others with the presiding judge's permission carry in the courtroom, and, of course, there have been no problems from this.  I know of one case where a judge showed a gun that he was carrying in Georgia, but it is hard to argue that there was an problem from that instance.  From the Minneapolis Star Tribune:

Telling colleagues and superiors that he fears a family law litigant, Anoka County Judge John Dehen wants to carry a gun into the courthouse. 
Earlier this year, Gov. Mark Dayton signed a bill allowing prosecutors to carry a concealed weapon if they receive approval from their county attorney and a judge. One of the legislators who proposed the law wholeheartedly supports Dehen's efforts. 
"It would set a nice precedent if he was allowed to carry a gun in the courthouse," said Rep. Tony Cornish, R-Good Thunder. "It would give some credence to the cause that courtrooms can be a dangerous place, and deputies aren't always in the courtroom." 
Dehen appears to be wading into uncharted legal waters by talking to the Anoka County Sheriff's Office, fellow judges and the district's chief judge about his desire to carry a weapon. 
Cmdr. Paul Sommer of the Sheriff's Office said they haven't decided whether Dehen can bring a gun into the courthouse, but strongly discouraged him from doing it, saying the courthouse already provides adequate security measures. Chief Judge John Hoffman of the 10th Judicial District asked Dehen for assurance that he wouldn't violate the 2003 court order that banned guns from the courthouse unless his request is approved. 
"I know he has talked to other judges, but I don't know the results," said Hoffman. . . .

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