Thursday, June 27, 2013

NorCo Officials Scramble To Protect Staff From Gun Violence

When Tricia Mezzacappa, the Sally Starr of the Lehigh Valley, pranced into the elections office with her six-shooter earlier this week, she did succeed in scaring the staff. But she may also have unwittingly done them a favor. Since that incident, County officials have taken seteps to ensure that an incident like that is never repeated.

Under state law, firearms are banned inside inside a "court facility," which does included the "offices of court clerks." Does that include an elections office? Since that office is one of the historic row offices and has traditionally been located at the courthouse, I'd say it does. But reasonable people can argue just as convincingly that it does not. Because of this uncertainty, some Council members began to consider adoption of an ordinance that would ban weapons at all County-owned property.

Preliminary research reveals that Northampton County enacted exactly this kind of ordinance in 1988, and amended it in 2007. Under this law, no one can enter upon County-owned property with a firearm.

But what about the Centralized Human Services building? The County will lease, not own that property, for at least the next five years. So it appears that the ordinance needs an amendment to include leased property.

This is where state law gets in the way. It expressly prohibits any gun regulation by municipal government. But this is not gun regulation. The County is regulating the use of its own property.

14 comments:

Anonymous said...

You are wrong. Stoffa by helping his contractor buddy ahs endangered staff.

Anonymous said...

what about my light saber?

Bernie O'Hare said...

You're good.

Anonymous said...

Local gun prohibitions are as American as apple pie, dating from "surrender your pistol" regs in Dodge City in the Old West. This was mainly to keep guns and booze separated in towns with as many saloons as people.

Counter-intuitively, however, gun-free zones are some of the most dangerous places in our society. You're far more likely to be a victim of gun violence while you're in a "gun-free" zone.

Anonymous said...

No where in society, and in no other work place are employees more exposed to danger than employees who serve the general public. Some incidences may include removing children from a household, selling homes for back taxes, enforcing PFA's, and employees enforcing rules and laws that the general public might disagree with in prinicpal or just in general. Tempers flare and people say and do stupid things to employees who feel unsafe or threatened.
That is the reason Northampton County passed an ordnance prohibiting guns on County owned and County leased properties. It is a law to be enforced by the Sheriffs office. It is a law that mandates certain punitive measures for infraction of the ordnance. Mezzacappa was in violation of that ordnance. She should be prosecuted under that law and let te chips fall where they may.

Clinton Oxford said...

Tricia seems to want to be a Martyr of Poor Judgement.


Unfortunately,Easton Pa. is known as a narcotic supply area within a 1 block radius of the Courthouse Property. Criminal's have more firepower than Law Enforcement. NORCO needs an actionable plan.

Anonymous said...

I do think they have the right to regulate what goes on in their buildings.

At the same time, maybe they could have a place where people can secure their weapons while visiting the building. People should not be denied their right to self protection getting to or coming from a government office.

Peter J.Cochran said...

Policy sometimes circumvents good judgement. Want to protect people in court house ? Absolutely,but the firearm itself is not the issue it is about trust issues. The integrity of a safe environment is in itself an equation. "Immediate actions" are planed reactions to a problem.Yes ,I said that. Also, I do not think it is good judgement to dis-arm law enforcement officers that visit the court house on business.In prior days ,if you wanted a firearm in the court house ,one could have been taken from the screen-er and not much could have been done about it till way after it was too late. Things are much better lately, but EVERYONE ans always use a "tune up" from time to time in my humble opinion.

Anonymous said...

Gun laws should be based on reason, not the musings of an angry ex-boyfriend.

Anonymous said...

9:21 a.m.
The county nor anyone else wants to check in your gun like at a saloon in the movies. Simply leave the gun in your car. If you are legally transporting that weapon, you have nothing to fear.

Anonymous said...

Tricia has O.D.D.- Oppositional Defiance Disorder. She is a Public health issue with a semi-auto pistol.

Bernie O'Hare said...

1:39, aka Blog Mentor, There is ample reason to bar guns from all government facilities.

Peter J. Cochran said...

Look ,this blog is where many get it first , and in 4 days the newswires might pick up on things.My contribution and grammar how ever appreciated has been om key, When Mr.DENT visited Bushkill Twp.for example. As you all can see clearly now, the U.S, Government is doing business with groups that have killed our people. Type in FEMA camps .This is why we need to have accessible fire arms ,and this type of situation would make the average citizen NOT SLEEP TIGHT at night.True or not, it can happen here. Why is the Post office and Social security administration buying so much ammo? Tried to buy ammo lately? I'll check in next week after a run to NO COMO territory.

Anonymous said...

Why is there no ammo? That is a good topic for another Bernie blog.
It is a fact that the ammunition for all caliber guns became a problem when Obamma and the democrats in Washington attempted to take away our second amendment rights. Gun owners started stock piling ammo. Sportsmen started stock piling ammo because they feared a ban or regulation on how much ammo you can buy would mean no ammo for recreational shooting and hunting. It still hasn't let up. There are some trap shooters who are having problems getting supplies because of the stock piling. It has nothing to do with the post office or the social security administration. Do you really think Congress would allow the social security administration to buy millions of rounds of ammunition, or the financially strapped postal authorities to purchase millions of rounds of ammunition and for what purpose.