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Loaded gun makes it past courthouse screener

Posted Mar 3, 2014 6:53 PM CDT
By Martha Neil

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No one, fortunately, was hurt. But a loaded semiautomatic handgun got past a security screener last month at an Ohio courthouse, resulting in ongoing repercussions.

Authorities said the Toledo Municipal Court screener, initially inattentive, later spotted on the X-ray machine the image of the gun in a woman's purse and located the owner of the handbag in a lobby area outside the city prosecutor's office, according to the Toledo Blade.

A man with the woman said he had a concealed-carry permit for the weapon, and both he and the woman were cooperative. However, guns are not supposed to be brought into the courthouse, and it is also a violation for someone else to carry a weapon for an individual with a permit, the newspaper reports.

The city prosecutor is investigating, a disciplinary hearing for the screener is pending and the clerk of court, whose office is located next to the security screening area, says she wants to hear about such incidents more quickly in the future.

“I have spoken to the court administrator and have let them know that anything concerning the safety in the building I should be made aware of, especially when my employees are on the front line right where you come through the door,” said Clerk of Court Vallie Bowman-English, who told the Blade she first learned of the incident from a newspaper reporter weeks later. “It’s my responsibility to make sure they have a safe work environment.”

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