Meridian Star

July 2, 2013

Sheriff, supervisors, ban guns in some county buildings

By Terri Ferguson Smith / tsmith@themeridianstar.com
The Meridian Star

MERIDIAN —     For the safety of the public and public officials who sometimes find themselves in emotionally charged situations, county officials are making sure that no guns are going to be brought  into at least three county buildings.

    Sheriff Billy Sollie took three issues to the Lauderdale County Board of Supervisors on Monday, asking them to adopt, or to include memos into the record prohibiting of firearms at the Raymond P. Davis Annex Building, known as the county annex; the Lauderdale County Courthouse, and the Lauderdale County Juvenile Center, which houses the county youth court.

    "Based upon state law, as sheriff I am the custodian of the court in the courthouse and the youth courthouse. So that's my determination and my decision," Sollie said. "The courthouse annex requires the action of both the Board of Supervisors and myself, so that's why we had three different documents."

    The board unanimously approved the request.

    "We've had signs posted at the courthouse previously concerning bringing in weapons into the facility but the courthouse has circuit court, chancery court, county court, which handles very sensitive and often-times, very volatile court proceedings where the individuals— the defendants, the plaintiffs, are in close proximity. We just believe it's the safest arena to not have guns in that area," Sollie said.

    The ban on guns takes effect immediately.