Loaded pistol discovered in woman's purse at Spokane County - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

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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