I was recently summoned for jury duty ((Why anyone would want an educated, ex-military, libertarian, gun-owning physics student on their jury is beyond me, but they sure love summoning me.)). In the paperwork, I noted that they prohibit weapons beyond a security checkpoint. As this is a courthouse, I have no problem with such a prohibition.
Still, I wanted to be sure I could legally carry up to the checkpoint, so I gave them a call. It went something like this:
Operator: “Jurry Commissioner’s office. How may I help you?”
Me: “Hi, I was recently summoned for jury duty and in the paperwork, I noticed that weapons are prohibited past the security checkpoint. Is there a place to check legally-carried weapons prior to the checkpoint?”
Operator: “Yes. That’s not a problem. We have plenty of lockers to hold privately-owned weapons for jurors.”
Me: “Excellent. Thank you.”
Not only is the lawful carriage of arms commonplace here, but even the courthouses have lockers to store firearms prior to the checkpoint. I seem to recall there actually being a law about this, as I saw similar lockers at the Motor Vehicles Department, but I can’t recall what specific law that was…
I love the fact that I can make a call regarding the storage of privately-owned weapons and get a simple, factual response. No assumption that I’m a police officer (as has happened a few times at the airport when checking guns), no questions of “Why would you bring a gun to a courthouse?”, or anything else along those lines.
4 thoughts on “Why I Love Arizona”
The law you refer to is ARS 13-3102.01:
A. If an operator of a public establishment or a sponsor of a public event requests that a person carrying a deadly weapon remove the weapon, the operator or sponsor shall provide temporary and secure storage. The storage shall be readily accessible on entry into the establishment or event and allow for the immediate retrieval of the weapon on exit from the establishment or event.
The problem with the law is that it doesn’t say how many lockers they are supposed to have for a particular public building. In fact, the last time I called the court about weapons storage I was told that all the LEOs, lawyers, and judges got first pick at the lockers and so there would be no spots left for me to store mine.
I hope that the polite response you got from the court means that they’ve added capacity for us mere mortals to store our firearms.
AZMike: Thanks for the info. I’m curious what they define “public establishment” to be — is this an establishment run by the government (e.g. a courthouse, MVD, etc.), or a private establishment that’s open to the public (e.g. a restaurant, bar, etc.)?
A. A person commits misconduct involving weapons by knowingly:
10. Unless specifically authorized by law, entering any public establishment or attending any public event and carrying a deadly weapon on his person after a reasonable request by the operator of the establishment or the sponsor of the event or the sponsor’s agent to remove his weapon and place it in the custody of the operator of the establishment or the sponsor of the event for temporary and secure storage of the weapon pursuant to section 13-3102.01;
M. For the purposes of this section:
1. “Public establishment” means a structure, vehicle or craft that is owned, leased or operated by this state or a political subdivision of this state.
2. “Public event” means a specifically named or sponsored event of limited duration that is either conducted by a public entity or conducted by a private entity with a permit or license granted by a public entity. Public event does not include an unsponsored gathering of people in a public place.
Mike: Fantastic. That clears things up. Many thanks.
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