Judge faces misdemeanor charge after a gun falls out of his jacket at the courthouse

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A Cook County, Illinois, judge faces a misdemeanor charge after a gun fell out of the jacket he was carrying at the criminal courthouse in Chicago.

Judge Joseph Claps was charged Friday with carrying a concealed weapon in a prohibited area, report the Chicago Sun-Times, the Chicago Tribune, WGN and the Associated Press. Only members of law enforcement are allowed to carry guns in the courthouse.

Claps, 70, hears criminal cases at the courthouse. He has a state-issued Firearm Owner’s Identification (FOID) card and a concealed carry license. He has been reassigned to nonjudicial duties in advance of a meeting of the court’s executive committee.

Two sheriff’s deputies saw Claps drop the gun on July 3 as he walked through the courthouse lobby. They reported the incident to their supervisors, who reviewed a surveillance video before charging Claps.

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