Author Topic: Courthouse carry  (Read 4111 times)

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Offline Wolverine

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Courthouse carry
« on: June 10, 2013, 07:16:56 PM »


This is a short version of my quest in the defense of the right to keep and bear arms and I thought it might be of help to others.

In the April 24th edition of the Hillsdale Daily News I read an article that really upset me. It can be read here: http://www.hillsdale.net/article/20130424/NEWS/130429773/1001/NEWS?rssfeed=true#axzz2VqnGYfIJ

The reason is that several years ago I worked hard to have signs removed from the doors of the Hillsdale County courthouse prohibiting weapons and being searched as a condition of entry.  As I read the article in the April 24th edition I knew I could not leave this article stand without a response. Therefore, in response I wrote the following letter to the editor on the 27th:

Strange indeed that I cannot find my reply in the archives of the paper on April 27. Its title is: Why are officials so afraid of constituents.   
At any rate, my reply is below.


Dear Editor:

My blood pressure nearly went off the scale as I read your article in April 24th. Edition concerning Courthouse security. It never ceases to amaze me why our elected officials are so afraid of their constituents. If they fear the people so much because of their tyrannical actions and need tighter security for the Courthouse, it would be better for everyone concerned if they resigned and looked for employment elsewhere.

Benjamin Franklin warned us against adopting such nonsense as proposed by Ted Jansen and considered by some of the County Commissioners as needed.  Franklin said." Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety."

It is a proven fact; no law will not stop those bent on the commission of a crime. Anyone thinking so, is only deluding themselves.  In addition, if they were paying attention, all so-called mass shootings have taken place in "Gun Free Zones" 

Furthermore, the Commissioners and Mr. Jansen should become more versed in Michigan law on restriction of weapons by reading Chapter 123 of the Michigan compiled laws.

MCL 123.1102 Regulation of pistols or other firearms.

Sec. 2.  A local unit of government shall not impose special taxation on, enact or enforce any ordinance or regulation pertaining to, or regulate in any other manner the ownership, registration, purchase, sale, transfer, transportation, or possession of pistols or other firearms, ammunition for pistols or other firearms, or components of pistols or other firearms, except as otherwise provided by federal law or a law of this state.

Those working in the courthouse should be thankful there are citizens who carry weapons while in the courthouse as it provides increased protection to those that would rather be a victim than have the means to defend themselves.

Contrary to board Chairman John Burtka warning, "weapons are not allowed in the courthouse" the Supreme court of Michigan has established that a citizen can carry a weapon while in the peoples' courthouse with the exception of a courtroom.  That is, when the court is in session. When the room is being used for a county commission meeting, it is no longer a courtroom but just another room.

I would suggest if Mr. Jansen is afraid of weapons carried by law-abiding citizens and suffers from hoplophobia, he should seek medical help. I am thankful our commissioners used good sense in defeating this control over the people.  Come election time, electors should remember the name of those who would usurp the fundamental God given Right to defend our lives, in or out of the Courthouse.

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I decided our commissioners needed a lesson in the law. I visited the Sheriff's office and told them of my plans to go to the commission meeting while open carrying. I was told, if I entered the courtroom, I would be arrested.  It seems the LEO I talked with did not understand the law so I visited our Prosecuting Attorney and discussed with him the info. I had. MCL 750.234d exempts open carrying a weapon in a court if you have a CPL. There is no law prohibiting the bearing of a pistol in a courthouse and if I choose to go to the commission meeting with an open arm it is lawful.

 The Supreme Court ruled that judges have the authority to set rules governing their courtrooms.  However, all legislative power is vested in the house and the Senate.  That leaves the Supreme Court, unable to make laws governing me as a citizen not under their control and my Article 1 sec. 6 right to bear arms is off limits to their dictates.

I went to visit our chief Judge and showed him the information below describing just what a Court is.

COURT, practice. A court is an incorporeal political being, which requires for its existence, the presence of the judges, or a competent number of them, and a clerk or prothonotary, at the time during which, and at the place where it is by law authorized to be held; and the performance of some public act, indicative of a design to perform the functions of a court.
2. In another sense, the judges, clerk, or prothonotary, counsellors and ministerial officers, are said to constitute the court.
3. According to Lord, Coke, a court is a place where justice is judicially administered. Co. Litt. 58, a.
4. The judges, when duly convened, are also called the court. Vide 6 Vin. Ab. 484; Wheat . Dig. 127; Merl. Rep. h. t.; 3 Com. Dig. 300; 8 Id. 386; Dane's Ab. Index, h. t.; Bouv. Inst. Index, h. t.

So, as you can see a court, in short, needs to be in session in order to be a court and therefore the Commissioners holding their commission meeting in the courthouse where there is no court would be legal. 

 At the next Commission meeting I entered the Courthouse while open carrying and headed for the Probate Court room where the commissioners where having their meeting. The Sheriff, the Lieutenant of the sheriff’s office and 3 or four other deputies, greeted me. The Lieutenant shook my hand and asked how I was doing but none said a word about my open carry. They all left after seeing there was not going to be a mass shooting.

During public comment time I address the commission and asked Commissioner Wiely what was his purpose of trying to close down the peoples’ courthouse but the chairman would not allow an answer so I preceded to give them a lecture on the right of the people to bear arms and how it was a violation of Article 1 sec. 11 of the Michigan Const. and the Fourth Amendment to be searched without probable cause.

It was strange to watch all those in attendance as they avoided looking at the weapon strapped on my hip.   Still they were educated and I considered my mission accomplished in the quest to stop any further restriction on the peoples’ right to bear arms in my courthouse.

One of my friends was stopped and not allowed to enter the Lenawee county courthouse while he had a fingernail file in his pocket.  So much for Liberty.

Offline TheQ

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Courthouse carry
« Reply #1 on: June 10, 2013, 09:26:41 PM »
Brad Benzing is on the commission and on our side.
I Am Not A Lawyer (nor a gunsmith).

Offline Wolverine

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Re: Courthouse carry
« Reply #2 on: June 11, 2013, 10:01:20 AM »
Yes I know Brad, talk with him often but he is only one vote.

Offline Pond Scum

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Re: Courthouse carry
« Reply #3 on: June 13, 2013, 08:25:29 AM »
Great story, great job, great letter!     Thank you for your efforts and your example Wolverine!