Officials object to judge's ban on guns at Albany County's courthouse

Dec 26, 2012 The Associated Press

CHEYENNE -- A recent order from a judge in Albany County banning people from carrying guns in the county courthouse has prompted county commissioners to ask state legislators to rein the judge in.

District Judge Jeffrey Donnell last month ordered the Albany County sheriff to enforce his order barring guns and other deadly weapons from the courthouse, which also houses other county offices.

Donnell's order directs the sheriff to enforce his order, "by every lawful means, including screening and/or searches of an individual's person and carried items and seizure of deadly weapons...."

Tim Sullivan, chairman of the Albany County Commission, wrote to Sen. Phil Nicholas, R-Laramie, and Rep. Kermit Brown, R-Laramie, last week. Sullivan told the lawmakers that he and the other two county commissioners recognize that judges have authority to regulate their own courtrooms and offices, but believe Donnell lacks authority "to regulate weapons in our courthouse."

Sullivan said Monday that he believes that security in the courthouse is sufficient. The building, in downtown Laramie, has county offices in the basement and lower floor while the district court, circuit court and jury rooms are on the upper floors.

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