Posted: December 17th, 2010 by Militant Libertarian
Gun rights activist and science fiction/fantasy author, Joel Rosenberg has been arrested and charged with a felony that carries a maximum of 5 years in prison. His alleged crime was carrying a gun into a “courthouse.”
It is a felony to carry a firearm into a courthouse in Minnesota except for “persons who carry pistols according to the terms of a permit issued under section 624.714 and who so notify the sheriff or the commissioner of public safety, as appropriate.”
Rosenberg does not deny carrying a gun when he went to a meeting with Sgt. William Palmer at the Minneapolis Police Department (he even recorded himself doing so). Rosenberg says that he notified the sheriff of his intentions to carry when entering the courthouse on several occasions and received permission to do just that. Also, the police department is not a courthouse so even if he had not notified the sheriff he would still not be guilty of violating the law.
When Rosenberg arrived at the meeting Sgt. Palmer immediately disarmed him and told him that he could not carry his gun in the building due to a court order issued by a judge declaring the building a “courthouse” and forbidding private citizens from carrying guns in the building. (Rosenberg was also charged with a misdemeanor contempt of court for violating this court order.)
This is the video of that encounter with Sgt. Palmer (all the action is in the first couple minutes, the rest is boring):
Rosenberg eventually relented and took his gun to his car even though he knew the law was on his side. Minnesota law forbids any government agent including judges from “limiting the exercise of a permit to carry.” A judge cannot just declare a building off limits for carry permit holders. The court order attempting to do so was unlawful.
You can listen to more details about the case here at Armed American Radio. The discussion of Rosenberg’s case starts at about 35 minutes in.
Rosenberg and his supporters contend that Rosenberg was not arrested for exercising his right to carry, but instead they believe that he was arrested for contempt of cop. Shortly after the incident at the police station where Rosenberg was disarmed by Sgt. Palmer he posted the video seen below and this open letter to Sgt. Palmer. In both the video and the letter he mocks Sgt. Palmer and the Minneapolis Police Department. The fact that Rosenberg was not arrested until a month after the incident lends credibility to the contention that his arrest was retaliation for his internet postings. The fact that charges against his wife that had been previously dropped have now been reinstated also lends credibility to the charge of retaliation.
To follow Rosenberg’s story as it unfolds visit Free Joel Rosenberg.