MORGAN COUNTY, Tenn. (WATE) – As of this week, anyone with a valid carry permit is allowed to have a gun in the Morgan County Courthouse. The county executive is calling the plan a win for the community, but not everyone agrees.
There is no longer a metal detector on the first floor of the courthouse and signs prohibiting guns are gone as well.
“We want the good guys to have freedom,” said Morgan County Executive Don Edwards.
New security measures are now in place, allowing the community to bring their permitted firearms inside. The metal detector is now outside of the courtroom.
“I think that we ought to be able to be able to go in and out every door, and I think if we want to carry, we shouldn’t have to lay them out in the car or somewhere. We should be able to take them in with us,” said Wartburg homeowner R. B. Human.
Not everyone who works in the courthouse agrees with the changes.
“For my office, I put up some signs,” said Morgan County Clerk Cheryl Collins.
The new prohibited weapon signs Collins put up are now gone as well.
“I agree with your Second Amendment right. I want you to be able to protect yourself, I understand that. But I just don’t agree with firearms being able to come into the courthouse to buy your tags,” said Collins.
Morgan County leaders say safety is the reason behind their decision.
“When you allow your law abiding, good guy citizens to exercise their right, we’re a much safer society,” said Edwards.
Some homeowners still worry.
“I don’t think it’s a good idea to allow just anybody to come to the courthouse with a gun. But I don’t think it’s a good idea to allow people to go to grocery stores with a gun or anywhere where people can randomly carry a gun,” said Coalfield homeowner Andrew Hall.
While there are still security cameras and panic buttons for all the “what if’s,” Edwards has a warning.
“We want the bad guys to stay out and stay away.”
People who are visiting the courthouse and carrying a firearm will be randomly asked to show their paperwork at times.