Iowa Supreme Court Bans Weapons in All Iowa Court Rooms

DES MOINES, Iowa  —  72 Iowa courthouses already have rules banning guns from courtrooms.  Now all 99 do thanks to the Iowa Supreme Court.

On Monday Chief Justice Mark Cady issued a Supervisory Order immediately banning guns from all courtrooms, court-controlled spaces and public areas inside courthouses and other justice centers.  The order does not ban peace officers from carrying weapons while on duty inside a courthouse.

Cady says the ban is necessary to ensure that Iowans know they are safe in the court.  “When Iowans believe their courthouses and court facilities are not safe,
the integrity of the entire justice process is compromised and undermined,” Cady writes in his order, “Courthouse security is inseparable from the concept of justice itself.”

While many courtrooms have metal detectors at entrances to search visitors, many more do not.  Cady admits his order won’t stop someone from carrying a weapon into one of those courts but this is an important first step.

“We also understand that a weapons prohibition will not cure the problem of courtroom violence or the threat, particularly in those court facilities without
entry point protocols to detect weapons,” he writes, “Yet, a statewide weapons policy will establish a baseline standard that weapons in courtrooms must only be carried by law enforcement and court officers assigned to protect Iowa’s courtrooms and court facilities.”

The Iowa Firearms Coalition is calling the order “judicial overreach.”  The group says Cady does not have the power to dictate whether or not weapons are allowed in public areas at courthouses that may house other public offices.

Read the full order here