“Telling colleagues and superiors that he fears a family law litigant, Anoka County Judge John Dehen wants to carry a gun into the courthouse.” Sounds reasonable enough, no? After all, it’s not like courthouse shootings are totally unheard of, particularly where family court matters with all their attendant drama are concerned. And it’s already legal for prosecutors to pack, IF they kiss all the right rings that is. So if it’s acceptable for one officer of the court to have the means to protect himself while at bar, why not another? Most likely thinking along those lines, Judge Dehen has explored the idea, talking to the local sheriff and his district’s chief judge about exercising his RKBA while at work. Except, as the Strib breathlessly points out, just like Oliver asking Mr. Bumble for a little more gruel, Dehn’s requests to exercise his Second Amendment — “wading into uncharted legal waters” — have resulted in raised eyebrows, no small amount of shock and even some uncomfortable harrumphing . . .
Cmdr. Paul Sommer of the Sheriff’s Office said they haven’t decided whether Dehen can bring a gun into the courthouse, but strongly discouraged him from doing it, saying the courthouse already provides adequate security measures. Chief Judge John Hoffman of the 10th Judicial District asked Dehen for assurance that he wouldn’t violate the 2003 court order that banned guns from the courthouse unless his request is approved.
Gee, no judges in bigger Hennepin County (which includes Minneapolis) have ever asked to pack heat. In fact, the Hennepin judges just finished a four hour security course. What more could they possibly need?
When the Strib asked Hennepin Chief Judge Pete Cahill about it, he said “I feel very good about courthouse security and feel I don’t need to provide my own security.” I know I feel better, you?
But Judge Dehen has a supporter in State Rep. Tony Cornish, one of the sponsors of the bill that allowed prosecutors to carry. As Cornish put it — showing uncommon common sense for a politician — “I still believe the best person to defend yourself is you.” That still doesn’t seem to apply to regular citizens having business with the court, though. No, you apparently need a J.D. to be able to exercise your Second Amendment rights in a Minnesota courthouse.