Guns in Courthouses – New Law Effective July 1, 2019

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In the latest salvo between the judges who want to control the entire courthouse and the Legislators who want them to limit themselves to the courtrooms, Mississippi House Bill 1581 goes into effect today. Full text of the bill is here: http://billstatus.ls.state.ms.us/documents/2019/pdf/HB/1500-1599/HB1581SG.pdf

In summary, the bill provides what is, and what is not, a courtroom. While it seems absurd that the law provides flower beds and grassed areas are not part of the courtroom, this is taken directly from judicial orders defining the courtroom to include those areas.

127 For purposes of this subsection (2), the following words
128 shall have the meanings described herein, unless the context
129 otherwise requires:

130 (i) "Courthouse" means any building in which a
131 circuit court, chancery court, youth court, municipal court,
132 justice court or any appellate court is located, or any building
133 in which a court of law is regularly held.

134 (ii) "Courtroom" means the actual room in which a
135 judicial proceeding occurs, including any jury room, witness room,
136 judge’s chamber, office housing the judge’s staff, or similar
137 room. "Courtroom" shall not mean hallways, courtroom entrances,
138 courthouse grounds, lobbies, corridors, or other areas within a
139 courthouse which are generally open to the public for the
140 transaction of business outside of an active judicial proceeding,
141 the grassed areas, cultivated flower beds, sidewalks, parking
142 lots, or other areas contained within the boundaries of the public
143 land upon which the courthouse is located.