Clayton County lifts ban on guns inside courthouse


Police officers now may take their guns into the Clayton County courthouse after the new sheriff lifted a four-year ban on firearms.

Clayton County Sheriff Kem Kimbrough says he is halting a policy started by former Sheriff Victor Hill that prohibited officers other than his deputies from taking guns into the courthouse in Jonesboro, a suburb of Atlanta. Officers testifying in court or getting warrants signed had to check their guns at the door.

County Police Chief Jeffrey Turner says the old policy made his officers defenseless inside the courthouse. Turner says allowing police to carry weapons in the building is an "added level of security" if there is an emergency.

Kimbrough took over as sheriff Jan. 1.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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