District Court Judge: I Support the Second Amendment, But . . . Not the ‘Bear Arms’ Part

The state of Ohio recently enacted a law expanding the ability of employees to carry concealed firearms in the workplace and in employers’ parking lots. But in a recent article at military.com, senior US District Court Judge Walter H. Rice let it be known that the feds aren’t subject to such state laws.

Employees and others also cannot bring their guns to the federal court building in Dayton, said U.S. District Court Judge Walter H. Rice.

“Federal installations are not bound by the state law except in certain situations which I don’t think are relevant,” Rice said. “My opinion is that it is not applicable to federal facilities unless the federal installation decides to adopt that portion of the law. What I said applies to the parking lot as well.”

In fact, hizzoner let it be known he’s no fan of that obscure, little known part of the bill of rights that deals with the bearing arms.

“I think open carry (and concealed-carry) laws, with all due deference to the Second Amendment, which I support…are dangerous to any community because of the epidemic of mental health issues throughout this country,” he said. “Putting guns in the hands of mentally incompetent people is a recipe for disaster.”

Judge Rice was appointed in 1980 by President  Jimmy Carter and is 80 years old. Rice entered senior status in 2003. He’s also currently an adjunct professor at the University of Dayton School of Law. Senior status means he receives full salary, but carries a reduced workload at the District Court.

While Judge Price is certainly entitled to his personal opinions, you might think he’d distinguish between law-abidnig Americans carrying firearms under the Second Amendment and “Putting guns in the hands of mentally incompetent people….” You’d also hope that he’d be able to rule on the law as it’s written instead of how he’d like to to be.

Judges are sometimes asked to recuse themselves when their public comments or conduct cast doubt on their ability to impartially hear and decide a case without bias. The chance of Judge Rice ruling in a Second Amendment case is not insignificant. Perhaps knowledgeable readers can let us know if these comments are sufficient grounds to ask for recusal in such an event.

©2017 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.

Gun Watch


  1. avatar James Earl Hoffa says:

    it’s a good thing you’re not making up the laws you mental midget. What an asshat. You always hear these anti-gun Pro liberal types I support the Second Amendment but. But what you really don’t support the Second Amendment you sound like Hillary freaking Clinton go f yourself.

    1. avatar Ragnarredbeard says:

      As a friend of mine is fond of saying, “everything after ‘but’ is bullshit”.

  2. avatar GS650G says:

    A few more years and we won’t need to worry about his opinions anyway. He’s obviously an elitist who doesn’t want Those People to carry guns, or even own them.

    1. avatar n64456 says:

      Keep feeding him bacon and butter…. He’ll be gone soon enough…..

  3. avatar Paul Stone says:

    The judge is in favor of the whole 2nd Amendment, except for the part that follows the 1st Amendment.
    Liberals are more transparent than the glass houses they live in.

  4. avatar Stan says:

    How come 18 USC 13 doesn’t apply? The Feds selectively enforce state law and that’s ok?

  5. avatar TyrannyOfEvilMen says:

    If you deny the second amendment to law-abiding citizens, the only people that will be carrying firearms will be criminals and the mentally ill.

    Why would you want by default to give Constitutional carry rights only to those two groups?

    When is the last time that a criminal convicted of an armed robbery, for example, got additional jail time because they violated any provision against criminals carrying a firearm concealed?

    My guess is that this may in fact never have happened and if it has happened that it is very rare indeed.

    1. avatar Cloudbuster says:

      I’m on your side in this discussion, totally, but you should understand that carrying a firearm while in commission of a felony will get you an extra five years mandatory tacked onto your sentence (true in Ohio and I believe part of federal sentencing guidelines), so the answer to your question “When is the last time that a criminal convicted of an armed robbery, for example, got additional jail time because they violated any provision against criminals carrying a firearm concealed?” is probably “yesterday.”

      1. avatar MamaLiberty says:

        Why just for using/carrying a gun? If the idea is valid to tack on extra prison time for using a gun, why not for using a knife, a screwdriver… anything that could be a weapon? Why “extra time” anyway? It is the harming, or serious attempt to harm others that is the crime. And the most rational response to such a crime is the death or serious injury of the aggressor at the hands of his/her intended victim, or their guardians. Prison terms should be uniform… for the unfortunate aggressor who survives the attempt.

      2. avatar Jeff says:

        “concealed”. You forgot to read the concealed part……

    2. avatar Roymond says:

      I know of three guys who got extra time for merely having a firearm while committing a felony, let alone using it!

      It’s not an uncommon law, and it gets used. It was enforced sufficiently in “Project Exile” that a lot of criminals — according to the criminals themselves — decided that even carrying a gun wasn’t worth the risk of three, five, or ten extra years.

      1. avatar TStew says:

        Hmmm…those guys you know must not live in Chicago.

  6. avatar RickP says:

    The real part comes after the “but”. Whenever they say that word, the truth is coming.

  7. avatar RickP says:

    I support the judiciary *but* not judges that are douche bags……….

  8. avatar Nanashi says:

    “I support the Thirteenth Amendment but not the “slavery” part”

  9. avatar MikeJH121 says:

    He’s old and a Lib and he is North of me here in Cincinnati.

    Always that I support….but thing with these flakes. I support Judges but not if they are mentally ill when it comes to the Constitution. If he worries about the mental illness he should look in the mirror.

    The Gov may be a douche on a lot of things but he is pro gun. Kasich expanded gun rights when he got into office.

    Such as the stupid law in Ohio that classified anything but a 22 as a Machine gun if you loaded more than 31 rounds. Or you can carry open or concealed to take your kids to school just can’t go into the parking lot. So I give him an A for guns. But his anti Trump everything and his expanded medicare thing have got to stop.

  10. avatar Ed says:

    I think that senility plays a big part in our government. My step-mother slowly developed Dementia in her late 50s and lived quite a long time. The average age for a member of Congress must be in the high 60s, how many of these idiots really are becoming mentally deficient? I mean can’t you see it? Nancy Pelosi like the stupid aunt who brings over jello with orange peel chunks floating in it and a purse half full of cat food…getting in the way, wandering into the kitchen a half dozen times an hour asking if they can help while knocking things over and double dipping her well licked fingers into any exposed food within reach. John McCain passed out in his favorite chair, spilt bourbon all over his lap mumbling about uncle Ho and giggling “Lindsey, not here…these people think we like them.”
    Why do we accept a government full of geriatric retards?

    1. avatar Pwrserge says:

      Because people forgot that the true purpose of the 2nd amendment is to allow us to perform a semi-centennial house cleaning.

      1. avatar Ed says:

        For real. +1

      2. avatar The Duke says:

        I hold it that a little rebellion now and then is a good thing, and as necessary in the political world as storms in the physical.
        -Thomas Jefferson

  11. avatar Hannibal says:

    I’m guessing he’s not talking about the same 2nd Amendment we are?

  12. avatar samuraichatter says:

    “Putting guns in the hands of mentally incompetent people is a recipe for disaster.”

    Which is exactly why the US.gov armed three sides in the ongoing conflict in Syria-Iraq 🙂

    1. avatar Cliff H says:

      “…because of the epidemic of mental health issues throughout this country,”

      But of course the real problem, and the reason that the Second Amendment exists in the first place, is allowing people (government people) like this judge to decide who and is not competent to exercise their right to keep and bear arms. Given the opportunity they will ALWAYS decide that if you do not agree with them you are either crazy or a criminal, possibly both – “No guns for you!”

  13. avatar Pwrserge says:

    I jupport the independence of the judicial branch, but not the part that doesn’t let us lynch tyrannical judges.

  14. avatar Mark N. says:

    State laws do not apply to federal property, federal law does. It is a felony for anyone not a LEO or a federal security officer to possess a firearm anywhere on federal property, especially in courthouses. This is news how? The rest of is commentary is merely filler that means nothing. When the federal law changes, maybe you guys will have something substantive to talk about.

    1. avatar pwrserge says:

      Except that there is no such thing as “federal property” with a very slim list of constitutional exceptions.

    2. avatar JJ Swiontek says:

      Are you referring to 18 USC 930? If so, then I suggest that you actually read it. You will find that it doesn’t read exactly what you claim it it reads.

    3. avatar Old Guy in Montana says:

      Not entirely correct. Take a look at laws allowing citizens to be armed on U.S. Forest Service property (Federal Property)…we are bound by State firearm laws while using USFS administered lands.

  15. avatar Tom says:

    So military bases are still gun free zones. What else is new?

  16. avatar Ironhead says:

    Soooooo….. Bears can’t have arms?

  17. avatar mer says:

    “I believe in his right to the First Amendment, except the part that talks about Free Speech. Putting words in the mouths of the mentally incompetent is a recipe for disaster”

    1. avatar Roymond says:

      How about —

      “I believe in the freedom of religion but only for those who learn to read their scriptures in the original languages and get a certificate for doing so from a government agency.”

  18. avatar Jack Hamilton says:

    If “his honor” is so concerned with mental health issues run amok, he should have even more reason to embrace concealed weapons by Americans plus, he should concentrate on disarming the psychopaths in government and military! It’s those very sick people Americans need to protect themselves from!

  19. avatar Matt in Oklahoma says:

    When you are scared of the employees around you having guns you really aught to look at how you and they are conducting business and if they really need to be around you or if you need to change the way you are acting. Those around me I would hope would come to my defense and not assassinate me.

    1. avatar Cliff H says:

      And if you think that someone who worked for you is whacko enough that if you fire them they will come back with a gun, those “No guns allowed!” and Gun Free Zone signs aren’t really gonna giver you much protection, unless they are printed on Kevlar.

      If that’s what’s bothering you, Bunky, you need to make sure the employees you do trust are carrying on your property, for your sake and theirs.

  20. avatar LarryinTX says:

    Damn amendment is *27* WORDS long (not pages), and this jerk thinks somebody believes he supports PART of it? Or gives a rat’s ass what he thinks?

  21. avatar Ralph says:

    Since Jack Kevorkian passed on, there’s no hope left for poor Judge Puffed Rice.

  22. avatar Jonny Rotten says:

    I support the First Amendment….just not the speaking part.

  23. avatar TX_Lawyer says:

    A judge’s opinions, whether expressed in or out of court, are not grounds for recusal. Recusal is pretty much about whether or not the judge (or a close family member) has a financial interest in the case. The recusal rules cover more, but this is pretty much what every recusal is about.

    If a judge expressed an opinion about a person, such as “I hate that bastard Dean Weingarten, and if he ever comes before me, I’ll make sure the case doesn’t go his way,” that would be different.

    The judge basically has to be personally involved. An expression of preferences for policy or opinions as to what the law is, are never grounds for recusal.

    1. Thanks. Nice to have someone knowledgeable contribute.

      1. avatar TX_Lawyer says:

        Thanks, just remember that’s the super extreme Nutshell* version.

        *the Cliff Notes of the law school.

  24. avatar Gruney says:

    “with all due deference to the Second Amendment, which I support…”

    I print out the Constitution on toilet paper, find the second amendment, and wipe my ass with it.

    Thank you Judge “well past my sell by date” Rice.

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