April 24, 2014

Justices consider security changes for lower courts

The Wisconsin Coalition Against Domestic Violence is urging the state Supreme Court to limit guns in courthouses. The coalition’s Tony Gibart asked the high court Thursday asks to ensure those given permission by a judge to carry concealed weapons in court – are closely monitored.

State law essentially prohibits concealed weapons in courtrooms unless given permission by a judge or prosecutor. WCADV wants to limit permission to carry to the judge’s courtroom only rather than the entire courthouse. Gibart also requested as an “absolute minimum,” a ban from anyone carrying a weapon on a day a relative is scheduled to appear in an action affecting the family.

The state Supreme Court is looking at overall security suggestions from the Planning and Policy Advisory Committee, made up of judges from around the state. A PPAC’s subcommittee’s proposals include guidelines for security at public entrances and quarterly meetings of a safety and facilities committee established in individual counties.

The Wisconsin Counties Association is among stakeholders which have been communicating with PPAC on its revisions to current rules.  WCA’s ”concerns have been addressed,” said Dave Callender with the group. The Counties Association wanted to make sure PPAC’s proposals are a guideline for circuit courts to follow rather than one-size-fits all approach.