Because of what they do for a living, judges and magistrates in West Virginia make lots of enemies. Occasionally, they find themselves in fear of assault in their own courtrooms.
A bill introduced in the Legislature by Delegate Erikka Storch, R-Ohio County, would allow judges and magistrates at every level to take firearms into their courtrooms. Magistrates would have to have concealed carry permits (judges already are permitted to carry guns without permits).
Current law allows guns in courtrooms only if they are carried by law enforcement officers acting in that capacity.
Storch already has lined up significant bipartisan support for her bill. She has said the idea has the support of state Supreme Court justices.
Legislators should approve the bill, to provide judges at all levels with an extra measure of security against those who may become violent in courtrooms - and pose threats to everyone, including innocent bystanders, who may be present.