Gwinnett Justice and Administration Center

Discussion in 'GA Laws and Politics' started by jrm, Feb 7, 2006.

  1. jrm

    jrm Sledgehammer

    3,458
    1
    38
    I went to the courthouse in Gwinnett County yesterday. In front of me at the metal detector were some guys putting their pocket contents in the little plastic tubs. I wasn't paying much attention to them, as I was putting my stuff in a tub and sending my case down the conveyor belt to the xray machine. Then one of the deputies manning the post says loudly, "Hey, who's is this?" He had picked out of one of the guys' tubs a large leather case containing a folding pocket knife (probably 5 or 6 inches worth). The owner claimed it, and the deputy said, "You can't come in here with this. Take it back outside." I suppose it's debatable whether a folding knife is "designed for the purpose of offense or defense," but the deputy could have made life a lot more unpleasant for the guy. I don't know if the same courtesy (of being allowed to take it outside to the car) would be extended to someone carrying, but I thought it was an interesting encounter.
     
  2. Malum Prohibitum

    Malum Prohibitum Moderator Staff Member

    63,356
    386
    83
    They have made me take my keychain pocketknife back to my car in Fulton and Clarke counties (I am a repeat offender). :roll:

    The deputy got really angry the first time when I started laughing (I thought it was in jest). :lol:
     

  3. Gunstar1

    Gunstar1 Administrator

    8,460
    5
    38
  4. Malum Prohibitum

    Malum Prohibitum Moderator Staff Member

    63,356
    386
    83
    They must have thought it was your "judicial assassination tool." :roll:
     
  5. gunsmoker

    gunsmoker Lawyer and Gun Activist

    24,305
    110
    63
    Combat Knife

    If I were the prosecutor trying to figure out whether a certain knife was "designed for the purpose of offense or defense," I would look at things like:

    1.) What is this knife called by the manufacturer (if it has any name at all)? Does it have a name that is associated with combat like "Ninja Master" or does it have a sporting name like "Field King?"

    2.) I would find some advertisments for the knife, or print some promotional literature on it from the manufacturer's or distributor's website, and see how they market it. Do they brag that it has a rib-splitting point? A blood groove? That it is "lightning fast?"

    3.) Does it have combat-oriented features that are more common to bayonets and fighting knives than hunting knives or utility knives?

    4.) Due to its size, shape, logos and decorative things on it, or for any other reason, does this knife look more combat-oriented than utility-oriented? Is it a "tactical" knife?

    Finally, I would consider how difficult it would be to get evidence of the above factors to the jury in light of the hearsay rule, the best evidence /original document rule, and other technicalities.

    P.S. Remember that when it comes to school safety zones, the only thing that matters is the size of the knife blade. Technically a regular butter knife used to spread jelly on toast would be a weapon that could earn you a felony conviction, and there is no exception in the staute for knives made of plastic or knives that are used in the school lunchroom for the students to cut their food with! And remember, most school districts have a "zero tolerance" policy, so just bringing that plastic knife fork spoon set, sealed in a plastic bag with a paper napkin and a little packet of salt and pepper from some fast-food restaurant, MUST be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law if the blade portion of the disposable plastic knife is over two inches.
     
  6. Malum Prohibitum

    Malum Prohibitum Moderator Staff Member

    63,356
    386
    83
    We don't get to the prosecutor, these are the deputies or "security," ahem, hirelings at the metal detectors that see this on the keychain.
     
  7. jrm

    jrm Sledgehammer

    3,458
    1
    38
    Gunsmoker, you have brought my attention to an important aspect of the statute that I had overlooked. The statute speaks to the design intent of the knife, not the carry intent of the knife. Thus, a very large hunting knife could be carried at a public gathering for offense or defense, as long as the knife were designed for hunting!

    But, as Malum correctly points out, the guys at the security checkpoint don't care about such minutae. At least at the Fulton County Courthouse they have provisions for you to check your pen knife (so you don't have to walk back to your car).
     
  8. john

    john New Member

    532
    0
    0
    Knife

    An SO friend at the south annex asked the judge about any knife. I had questioned design purpose. Based on law or fealings I dont know but he said no knife at all in county buildings.
     
  9. gunsmoker

    gunsmoker Lawyer and Gun Activist

    24,305
    110
    63
    Hunting Knife

    Well, what is a "hunting knife" used for, anyway? If it is a short-bladed knife without much of a point, used only for skinning game and cutting meat, fine. But what about the idea that a fixed-blade hunting knife with a 5" or 6" blade is also a defensive weapon and survival tool? Don't hunters carry a knife as a back-up weapon to their gun? If you shoot a bear and then your gun jams as the wounded animal charges you, what do you do? You draw your knife and finish the job! (In the movies, that's how it works. And if you go to trial in an urban area, the only familiarity your jurors will have with "hunting knives" are the ones they see on TV being carried by cowboys, pioneers, and mountain men. These same knives are regularly shown being used as defensive tools. Were they "designed for the purpose of offense or defense?" Who knows!

    That's why lawyers love Georgia law (on virtually any subject) -- it can mean anything that you want it to mean, if you have a convincing argument!
     
  10. Phil1979

    Phil1979 Member Georgia Carry

    9,913
    156
    63
    Pocket knives are legal to carry there now under state preemption, correct? If so, what if I refuse to put my 3" folder in my car and insist on putting it back in my pocket?
     
  11. CoffeeMate

    CoffeeMate Junior Butt Warmer

    46,427
    4
    0
    I am alarmed over what appears to me to be criminal prosecution decisions being made based on marketing decisions and TV shows.

    :panic:
     
  12. CoffeeMate

    CoffeeMate Junior Butt Warmer

    46,427
    4
    0
    Yeah, and that's another problem... First separate you from your intimate personal property, and then lose track of what belongs to whom. What stops the person next to you from snatching up the wrong tub and scurrying away while a deputy tells you to stand there and wait for the metal detector to reset?

    It's why I won't bring my wallet with me into those places.
     
  13. Malum Prohibitum

    Malum Prohibitum Moderator Staff Member

    63,356
    386
    83
    The answer is complicated. It involves the Sheriff's security plan, which the Sheriff is required by law to develop. Is a judge, who realizes that the result of his decision is that there will be people armed with knives in his courtroom, likely to decide that preemption preempts the Sheriff's secret plan?

    Courthouse Security Plan

    O.C.G.A. § 15-16-10

    O.C.G.A. § 36-81-11

    O.C.G.A. § 50-14-3

    Georgia Superior Court Rule 45
     
  14. Savannah Dan

    Savannah Dan Cross-drawer

    6,098
    71
    48
    http://onlineathens.com/stories/04020/genassembly_20060402075.shtml#.VgP_GXvDtlk

    http://www.syfert.com/gacode/15-16-10.html

    http://www.syfert.com/gacode/36-81-11.html

    http://www.syfert.com/gacode/50-14-3.html

    http://www.georgiacourts.org/sites/...RM SUPERIOR COURT RULES_Updated_09_18_14_.pdf
     
  15. legacy38

    legacy38 Active Member

    9,000
    9
    38
    To clarify, the Sheriff is required to author and submit a plan. It goes to the chief judge of the Superior Court at which time the judge can modify the plan. I know of several instances in which this has occurred.
     
  16. Phil1979

    Phil1979 Member Georgia Carry

    9,913
    156
    63
    Does state law make preemption subordinate to a court's security plan?


     
  17. Malum Prohibitum

    Malum Prohibitum Moderator Staff Member

    63,356
    386
    83
    Technical answer? No. Reality answer? See post #13.