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Thread: Adams County

  1. #1
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    Default Adams County

    From the Open Carry website comes this little gem: http://opencarry.mywowbb.com/forum46/4745.html

    From the linked news article (http://www.eveningsun.com/localnews/ci_6881721) is this opening paragraph:

    Adams County will consider an ordinance to fix a technicality in the security policy that allows them to stop someone carrying a gun on a sidewalk outside the courthouse.
    Why Adams County would have its own courthouse ordinance concerning guns is a good question when 18 Pa. C.S. 913 already covers such.

    And then you've got 18 Pa. C.S. 6120(a) prohibiting any county from regulating in any manner the possession or carrying of firearms.

    Hopefully the Adams County Commissioners will remove all offending parts of their ordinance.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Adams County

    From the Adams County website, here's the ordinance they're talking about:

    ORDINANCE NO. 1 of 2007

    AN ORDINANCE OF THE COUNTY OF ADAMS, AMENDING ORDINANCE NO. 2 OF 1995, REGARDING THE BANNING OF WEAPONS FROM THE COUNTY FACILITIES AND PROPERTIES; SUBJECTING PERSONS IN AND UPON COUNTY FACILITIES AND PROPERTIES TO SEARCHES AND SEIZURES RELATIVE TO POSSESSION OF WEAPONS; AND PROVIDING FOR THE ADMINISTRATION AND ENFORCEMENT OF THE PRESENT ORDINANCE

    BE IT ENACTED AND ORDAINED by the County of Adams (“County”), Pennsylvania, by its duly elected and incumbent Board of County Commissioners, and it is hereby ENACTED AND ORDAINED by the authority of the same, as follows:

    WHEREAS, the Adams County Board of Commissioners and the Adams County Court of Common Pleas have previously determined that it is necessary and appropriate, for the protection of the health, safety and welfare of the general public and County officials and employees, to ban all weapons from County facilities and properties, and to subject all persons in and upon County facilities and properties to searches and seizures relative to the possession of weapons; and

    WHEREAS, The Adams County Board of Commissioners and the Adams County Court of Common Pleas, have determined that it is necessary and appropriate to modify those previously created guidelines existing under Ordinance No. 2 of 1995, as amended, relative to the banning of weapons from County facilities and properties; and

    WHEREAS, The Adams County Board of Commissioners and the Adams County Court of Common Pleas have determined that weapons relinquished to County Security personnel shall be accounted for in a manner so as to best allow for property to be identified and returned.

    NOW THEREFORE, be it ENACTED AND ORDAINED by the County of Adams, Pennsylvania, by the Adams County Board of Commissioners, and it is hereby ENACTED AND ORDAINED by the authority of the same, as follows:

    Section I: The following definitional section under “weapons” as contained in ORDINANCE NO. 2 OF 1995, is changed at subpart (3), so as to read as follows:

    (3) All knives of all lengths, and all sharpened blades of any length or configuration.

    Section II: The following definitional provision under “weapons” as contained in Ordinance No. 2 of 1995 is changed at subpart (8), so as to read as follows:

    (8) Any item the Director of Security, or the security staff, in any of their professional judgments, determines creates a present danger to property, personnel, or visitors to the government or judicial offices of the County.

    Section III: Paragraph C., of Section II, as contained in Ordinance 2 of 1995, entitled “Seizure of Weapon,” is deleted in its entirety, and replaced with a new Paragraph C. of Section II, which contains the following:

    C. Proffer, Storage, Return and Disposal of Knives or Weapons other than Firearms. Any person who carries a knife or weapon (other than a firearm) into a County facility shall relinquish possession to security personnel upon entering. During the period a person is in the facility, the knife or weapon will be placed in a storage envelope or locked weapon storage box, and clearly marked with the owner’s name, and the date. The owner of the knife or weapon will be notified upon placement of the item in the storage envelope or locked weapon storage box, that he or she should claim the knife or weapon upon departure from the facility, and that if he or she does not claim the weapon upon departure, than he or she has ninety (90) days in which to return to the facility and reclaim the knife or weapon. After a period of twenty four (24) hours, all unclaimed weapons will be removed from the storage containers located in the main lobby, and placed in workspace under the control of the Director of Security. If the knife or weapon is not claimed by its rightful owner within ninety (90) days of his or her visit to the facility, the knife or weapon will be considered abandoned, and will be removed from the County facility, and properly disposed of.
    Section IV: The following paragraph is added as Paragraph D., of Section II, as an entirely new paragraph:

    D. Processing and Storage of Personal Firearms. Any person bringing a firearm onto Courthouse property in compliance with 18 Pa. C.S. §913, other than a law enforcement officer on official duty, shall be initially screened by County security personnel to ensure that the person holds a valid firearm license to carry a concealed weapon. For purposes of this provision, “law enforcement officer” shall be limited to state police, sheriff and sheriff deputies, municipal and regional police officers, probation and parole officers, and federal law enforcement officers, but shall specifically exclude constables. Once the firearm license is verified, the licensed person carrying the firearm will be escorted to an area with a secure storage container, which will not be located in a courtroom of record, judge’s chamber, witness rooms, jury deliberation rooms, attorney conference rooms, prisoner holding cells, court clerk offices, district attorney offices, sheriff offices, probation and parole department offices, or any corridor adjoining any of the above, as well as away from any space or area that is used in any public capacity. The licensed person will then be instructed to safely place the firearm and all ammunition in the secure storage container. The container will be locked, and the security officer will retain the key, while providing the licensed person a receipt for his or her weapon and ammunition. Upon leaving the facility the licensed person will present the receipt to security personnel. He or she will then be escorted by security personnel to the storage container and be permitted to retrieve his or her firearm and ammunition. The licensed person will then immediately leave the facility. At all times security personnel and the director of security have the authority to deny such accommodations to the licensed person, and to deny access to the facility, if the licensed person, in the sole judgment of security personnel or the director, displays any unsafe firearm handling practices. In that situation, the licensed person will be advised to leave the facility and to return only when the licensed person is not in possession of a firearm. Any person not claiming a firearm and ammunition within 24 hours will have such materials treated in the same manner as a knife or weapon, as provided for in paragraph C., above.

    Section V: Any Ordinance or Resolution, and any portion of any Ordinance or Resolution, which is inconsistent with the contents of this present Ordinance, shall become and the same is hereby, repealed in so far as the same is affected by or inconsistent with the provisions of the present Ordinance.

    Section VI: In the event that any provision of this Ordinance is held to be unenforceable or invalid by a court of competent jurisdiction, the remaining provisions shall remain valid, and shall have full force and effect.

    Section VII: This Ordinance shall be effective on and as of the 17th day of January 2007.

    ENACTED AND ORDAINED into an Ordinance this 17th day of January 2007.

    ATTEST: ADAMS COUNTY COMMISSIONERS

    /s/Paula V. Neiman /s/R. Glenn Snyder, Chairman
    Chief Clerk /s/Lucy Lott
    /s/Thomas J. Weaver

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Adams County

    That law will be shot out of the books as soon as it's passed, if it does pass. The UFA states that the inside of a court facility is an offense. ...not on the grounds of a court facility. That and they are completely barred from regulating carrying even if the law is less strict or as strict as state law. (which I know you know)

    § 913. Possession of firearm or other dangerous weapon in court
    facility.
    (a) Offense defined.--A person commits an offense if he:
    (1) knowingly possesses a firearm or other dangerous
    weapon in a court facility or knowingly causes a firearm or
    other dangerous weapon to be present in a court facility; or
    (2) knowingly possesses a firearm or other dangerous
    weapon in a court facility with the intent that the firearm
    or other dangerous weapon be used in the commission of a
    crime or knowingly causes a firearm or other dangerous weapon
    to be present in a court facility with the intent that the
    firearm or other dangerous weapon be used in the commission
    of a crime.
    RIP: SFN, 1861, twoeggsup, Lambo, jamesjo, JayBell, 32 Magnum, Pro2A, mrwildroot, dregan, Frenchy, Fragger, ungawa, Mtn Jack, Grapeshot, R.W.J.

    Don't end up in my signature!

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    Default Re: Adams County

    Talk about interpreting the law - next it will be anyone driving by the court house after all it’s on their property also. Hey lets just make it a city block or two as a buffer zone; after all it’s for safety.

    How crazy is this going to get before its stopped?

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    Default Re: Adams County

    Respectful letter going out today to the Adams County Commissioners pointing out the errors of their ways, including references to Section 6120 (state preemption), Section 913 (court houses), and Section 5301 (official oppression).

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Adams County

    I can't seem to find in the law any where it says property outside the building......... it ONLY applies to "Court facility."

    §913. Possession of Firearm or Other Dangerous Weapon in Court Facility.

    (a) Offense defined.--A person commits an offense if he:

    (1) knowingly possesses a firearm or other dangerous weapon in a court facility or knowingly causes a firearm or other dangerous weapon to be present in a court facility; or

    (2) knowingly possesses a firearm or other dangerous weapon in a court facility with the intent that the firearm or other dangerous weapon be used in the commission of a crime or knowingly causes a firearm or other dangerous weapon to be present in a court facility with the intent that the firearm or other dangerous weapon be used in the commission of a crime.

    (b) Grading.--

    (1) Except as otherwise provided in paragraph (3), an offense under subsection (a)(1) is a misdemeanor of the third degree.

    (2) An offense under subsection (a)(2) is a misdemeanor of the first degree.

    (3) An offense under subsection (a)(1) is a summary offense if the person was carrying a firearm under section 6106(b) (relating to firearms not to be carried without a license) or 6109 (relating to licenses) and failed to check the firearm under subsection (e) prior to entering the court facility.

    (c) Exceptions.--Subsection (a) shall not apply to:

    (1) The lawful performance of official duties by an officer, agent or employee of the United States, the Commonwealth or a political subdivision who is authorized by law to engage in or supervise the prevention, detection, investigation or prosecution of any violation of law.

    (2) The lawful performance of official duties by a court official.

    (3) The carrying of rifles and shotguns by instructors and participants in a course of instruction provided by the Pennsylvania Game Commission under 34 Pa.C.S. § 2704 (relating to eligibility for license).

    (4) Associations of veteran soldiers and their auxiliaries or members of organized armed forces of the United States or the Commonwealth, including reserve components, when engaged in the performance of ceremonial duties with county approval.

    (5) The carrying of a dangerous weapon or firearm unloaded and in a secure wrapper by an attorney who seeks to employ the dangerous weapon or firearm as an exhibit or as a demonstration and who possesses written authorization from the court to bring the dangerous weapon or firearm into the court facility.

    (d) Posting of notice.--Notice of the provisions of subsections (a) and (e) shall be posted conspicuously at each public entrance to each courthouse or other building containing a court facility and each court facility, and no person shall be convicted of an offense under subsection (a)(1) with respect to a court facility if the notice was not so posted at each public entrance to the courthouse or other building containing a court facility and at the court facility unless the person had actual notice of the provisions of subsection (a).

    (e) Facilities for checking firearms or other dangerous weapons.--Each county shall make available at or within the building containing a court facility by July 1, 2002, lockers or similar facilities at no charge or cost for the temporary checking of firearms by persons carrying firearms under section 6106(b) or 6109 or for the checking of other dangerous weapons that are not otherwise prohibited by law. Any individual checking a firearm, dangerous weapon or an item deemed to be a dangerous weapon at a court facility must be issued a receipt. Notice of the location of the facility shall be posted as required under subsection (d).

    (f) Definitions.--As used in this section, the following words and phrases shall have the meanings given to them in this subsection:

    "Court facility." The courtroom of a court of record; a courtroom of a community court; the courtroom of a magisterial district judge; a courtroom of the Philadelphia Municipal Court; a courtroom of the Pittsburgh Magistrates Court; a courtroom of the Traffic Court of Philadelphia; judge's chambers; witness rooms; jury deliberation rooms; attorney conference rooms; prisoner holding cells; offices of court clerks, the district attorney, the sheriff and probation and parole officers; and any adjoining corridors.

    "Dangerous weapon." A bomb, grenade, blackjack, sandbag, metal knuckles, dagger, knife (the blade of which is exposed in an automatic way by switch, push-button, spring mechanism or otherwise) or other implement for the infliction of serious bodily injury which serves no common lawful purpose.

    "Firearm." Any weapon, including a starter gun, which will or is designed to expel a projectile or projectiles by the action of an explosion, expansion of gas or escape of gas. The term does not include any device designed or used exclusively for the firing of stud cartridges, explosive rivets or similar industrial ammunition.

    (June 13, 1995, 1st Sp.Sess., P.L.1024, No.17, eff. 120 days; Nov. 22, 1995, P.L.621, No.66, eff. imd.; Dec. 15, 1999, P.L.915, No.59, eff. 60 days; Nov. 30, 2004, P.L.1618, No.207, eff. 60 days)

    2004 Amendment. Act 207 amended the def. of "court facility" in subsec. (f). See sections 28 and 29 of Act 207 in the appendix to this title for special provisions relating to applicability and construction of law.

    1999 Amendment. Act 59 amended subsec. (e).

    1995 Amendments. Act 17, 1st Sp.Sess., added section 913 and Act 66 amended subsecs. (c) and (e). See the preamble to Act 17, 1st Sp.Sess., in the appendix to this title for special provisions relating to legislative purpose.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Adams County

    Is the part about kicking you out for what they deem to be "unsafe gun handling practices" even legal? Telling you to come back without a firearm?

    As I read the article (I also originated the post over at OCDO), they are trying to fix the ordinance. It is beside the fact that the newly proposed change parallels the state law and is redundant.

    Also, it says they require the person show their LTCF, what if the person was legally open carrying? It looks like the PA law doesn't allow for that.

    Once the firearm license is verified, the licensed person carrying the firearm will be escorted to an area with a secure storage container
    This is sort of humerous to me. The gun lockers are sitting on a table, behind the security guard at the metal detector.
    Adams County Sport Handgunners Association - President

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    Default Re: Adams County

    Quote Originally Posted by djturnz View Post
    Is the part about kicking you out for what they deem to be "unsafe gun handling practices" even legal? Telling you to come back without a firearm?

    As I read the article (I also originated the post over at OCDO), they are trying to fix the ordinance. It is beside the fact that the newly proposed change parallels the state law and is redundant.

    Also, it says they require the person show their LTCF, what if the person was legally open carrying? It looks like the PA law doesn't allow for that.

    Once the firearm license is verified, the licensed person carrying the firearm will be escorted to an area with a secure storage container
    This is sort of humerous to me. The gun lockers are sitting on a table, behind the security guard at the metal detector.
    Without definition, I'd toss that too.. However if they define "unsafe gun handling practices" the same way as me - then I'd whole heartedly support them in that cause.

    example:
    1. You goto to security check point, and submit for securing your firearm. In the process of unholstering your firearm you put finger on the the trigger and casually point it at the poor guard, Sheriff Deputy, or someone else.
    2. Same situation as above, but instead of pointing it at someone, you fumble it.
    3. insert any hazardous situation that comes to YOUR mind..

    ...you should be tossed out and asked to store you weapon elsewhere. I wouldn't want some fool that cant handle a firearm around me either.
    RIP: SFN, 1861, twoeggsup, Lambo, jamesjo, JayBell, 32 Magnum, Pro2A, mrwildroot, dregan, Frenchy, Fragger, ungawa, Mtn Jack, Grapeshot, R.W.J.

    Don't end up in my signature!

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Adams County

    Quote Originally Posted by Statkowski View Post
    Respectful letter going out today to the Adams County Commissioners pointing out the errors of their ways, including references to Section 6120 (state preemption), Section 913 (court houses), and Section 5301 (official oppression).
    You go boss. This is what we need more people to do. Take the time to get involved and don't just sit at this computer reading about it.

    I wondered why the Adams County Sportsman Association (www.acsha.com) isn't all up in arms about this and doing something. Or are you guys, and it just hasn't been posted here?
    The American Revolution would never have happened with gun control....
    The day they want my guns, they'll have to bring theirs!!!
    Proud to be One of the 3%

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Adams County

    ACSHA is the Adams County Sport Handgunners Association.


    Anyway, I sent the County commissioners an email with the appropriate laws cited (probably similar to what Statkowski did). The club hasn't had a meeting since the news came of this, so as a club, we haven't done anything. I was going to try to attend a meeting but they hold them at 9am on Wednesdays and I really can't take off from work now.

    From what I read they are fixing the issue. That's why it was in the paper. So I don't see any reason to get too up in arms yet. If they do fix the sidewalk part, the rules will basically mirror state law. Redundant as it is, I see no harm.

    Please correct me if I am wrong.
    Adams County Sport Handgunners Association - President

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