Winnebago Co. judges defend gun ban in courthouse

Prosecutor wants to carry weapon in courthouse

Winnebago County judges said they are prohibiting guns in their courtrooms to ensure everyone has a safe environment in which to settle a dispute.

The comments are in response to the District Attorney Christian Gossett filing a petition with the state Supreme Court Monday, asking it to block the judges’ ban.

Gossett, who is a concealed weapon permit holder, wants to carry his gun in the courtroom. He contends the order contradicts the law passed last year, which allows district attorneys and their assistant prosecutors to carry guns in courthouses if they have permits.

In a statement Tuesday, the judges said the order approved unanimously among the circuit court judges in January applies equally to everyone who enters a courtroom during a proceeding, except law enforcement personnel.