County officials want more guns in both courthouses

On Monday October 18, Guilford County Commissioners met via Zoom with the local delegation of state lawmakers to make demands on the state, and a very interesting request was that lawmakers change state law and allow Guilford County security guards to transport firearms into the courthouse.

When Guilford County Attorney Mark Payne made the request to state lawmakers on behalf of the Guilford County Government, he said it would give Guilford County greater control over how the responses from security in the courthouse are addressed.

In an email after the meeting, Payne explained in a bit more detail why the change would be positive.

“It is more [to] move private security personnel to our personnel whom we train and guide, ”the county attorney wrote. “It’s more about the small problems that we want to fix so that they don’t turn into bigger problems. “

During the meeting, Payne said that until 2019, security officers employed by the county carried firearms in both county courthouses.

“We were carrying guns and someone filed a complaint,” Payne said, adding that Guilford County stopped the practice at that time due to state law in effect.

County officials at the October 18 meeting said they would agree to a local state bill that granted this right to Guilford County by exception, and maintained current state law. the same elsewhere.

During the virtual meeting, state lawmakers appeared very supportive of the change, although some wanted to do more research on the matter and discuss it with courts and law enforcement officials.

The Guilford County government recently took several important county security measures. In a still unexplained move – which came out of the blue like Monday’s courthouse gun clearance application – in early September, the Guilford County Board of Commissioners came out of a long session to behind closed doors and voted to approve 11 new positions in the Guilford County Security Department (and four new positions in the Sheriff’s Department as well).

In addition, in recent months, County Commissioners’ meetings have been much more secure than in the past.

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