SIOUX CITY, Iowa — An eastern Iowa judge has issued an order banning guns from a county courthouse despite county officials’ recent decision to allow guns.
Woodbury County District Judge Duane Hoffmeyer’s order prohibits guns in the Woodbury County Courthouse, the Law Enforcement Center and the Trosper Hoyt Building, the Sioux City Journal reported .
“… the purpose of this Administrative Order is to provide a safe place for resolving disputes and deterring incidents of violence when firearms are on or in close proximity to individuals or employees who may wish to cause harm,” Hoffmeyer wrote.
The order comes after the Board of Supervisors voted earlier this month to allow guns on county property in an attempt to comply with the state’s newly expanded gun rights law.
But the state Supreme Court ruled in June that only law enforcement can have guns in courthouses or court-controlled areas. County Sheriff Dave Drew said he’d enforce the court’s order.
“The Sheriff is responsible for carrying out all court orders,” Drew said. “We will continue. … in this direction.”
County Board Chairman Matthew Ung said Hoffmeyer’s decision is “troubling.”
“It’s even more of an overreach than the Supreme Court order,” Ung said. “I think the fact that it goes so far to order the sheriff to disarm fellow law enforcement officers with a valid identification sends a stupendously bad message to the community. It also discourages employees to lawfully carry. With all the issues we have to worry about in this world, fearing our own employees and our own off-duty officers is very misguided and more of an overreach.”
Guns that are evidence for trial are exempt from the ban.
Information from: Sioux City Journal, http://www.siouxcityjournal.com