The attorney entered the courthouse on North Orange Avenue through the loading dock entrance at 8:45 a.m. with a .380 Smith & Wesson concealed inside a shoulder bag, deputies said. Security scanned the bag through the security x ray screening machine and the lawyer retrieved the bag and proceeded into the courthouse, according to the Sheriff’s Office.
Orange County Sheriff’s Office public information officer Ingrid Tejada-Monforte said the security line was backed up Friday morning when the incident occurred and by the time security realized the gun had entered the courthouse, the attorney had already turned around and put the firearm back in his car.
The courthouse was placed on lockdown for about 20 minutes until the attorney and the firearm could be found, Tejada-Monfortes said.
Attorney John Wallace said he was on the way into the courthouse for a hearing when the lockdown was underway.”I had to call my client and say ‘Hey, let the judge know I’m not just blowing off court and he said ‘That’s fine,’ he didn’t know anything about it,” Wallace said.When attorneys enter the courthouse building they have to show ID and get patted down, before they go through security, Wallace said.
Charges could be pending against the attorney for allegedly bringing a concealed weapon into a courthouse, a spokeswoman with the Sheriff’s Office said. However, because they have not been charged, their name is not being released.
Tejada-Monfortes said this is a good reminder for those with concealed carry permits to check their bags before entering buildings where weapons are not allowed.
“Attorney’s are human and they are capable of forgetting that they are are carrying, or whatever, but I have never heard of someone getting through security,” Wallace said.