S.1182 “An Act Relative to the Safety of Law Enforcement Officers.”

Courts Disarming Law Enforcement. Yet another problem facing law enforcement officers in the Commonwealth is a growing number of state and local courts that are forcing them to disarm before entering the court room. Many law enforcement officers have to attend court on a regular basis for trials, hearings and etc. With again, another example of government turning on its own, courts are forcing officers to relinquish their firearms before going in. This practice is problematic for several reasons. Putting aside our own problems with the way Massachusetts treats other citizens in regards to guns, any officer should never be disarmed regardless of where they have to go. The other problem is one of firearm security. We have heard complaints that officers are being asked to disarm in front of who knows who coming into court on any given day. Of course, where are they storing these guns? Are the people handling the guns even qualified or eligible to do so and are they meeting the state storage laws?

Senator Stephen Brewer is leading the charge to make sure this insane practice comes to an end. On Thursday, November 17, 2011 the Joint Committee on Public Safety and Homeland Security held a hearing on S.1182 filed by Senator Brewer. In essence what the bill would do is create affirmative law that would make it clear law enforcement officers are permitted to carry their service guns in the court houses. As GOAL does for all lawful citizens, we support any effort to reform laws or policies that disarm law enforcement. As a side note, there seems to be a recent conscious effort by this administration to attack law enforcement and their ability to possess firearms. The infamous “assault weapons” letter to law enforcement earlier this year still has not been resolved.

Bill S.1182, “An Act Relative to the Safety of Law Enforcement Officers”
SECTION 1. Section 1 of Chapter 275 of the General Laws, as appearing in the 2006 Official Edition, is hereby amended by inserting at the end thereof, the following words:--; provided further that any law enforcement officer, in the course of official business, shall be permitted to carry such weapons as are authorized by his appointing authority while in any state or county courthouse. As used in this section, "law enforcement officer" shall mean any state, county, or municipal police officer or special state police officer authorized to make arrests or serve criminal process.


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