Loaded pistol discovered in woman's purse at Spokane County Courthouse
Sgt. Dave Reagan | Spokane County Sheriff's Office
SPOKANE, Wash. - A 22-year-old Spokane woman was arrested Wednesday morning after security staff in the Spokane County Courthouse discovered a loaded pistol in her purse as she was headed to a domestic violence hearing.
Stacey L. Atkins was cited for Possession of a Concealed Dangerous Weapon and Carrying a Weapon into a Prohibited Place. Both are misdemeanors and she was released after she signed the promise to appear in court.
Security staff discovered the pistol as Atkins' purse went through the x-ray machine at the annex entrance on the north side of the courthouse. They seized the purse and called a deputy to the station.
The deputy, who oversees the courthouse security program, detained and interviewed Atkins, then placed the Bersa .380-caliber semi-automatic pistol on police property as evidence. The gun's magazine was loaded, but there was no bullet in the chamber.
Security in the Spokane County Courthouse was beefed up after a fatal shooting in a King County domestic violence courtroom in 1995. A husband facing divorce shot and killed his wife and her two female friends with a pistol he pulled from his briefcase.
Carrying a concealed firearm is lawful if the person has obtained a Washington State Concealed Weapon Permit. However, buildings housing a courtroom are one of several specific facilities where firearms are prohibited by law.
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