Eight judges in Georgia’s Clayton County, fearful after the recent Atlanta courthouse killings, have received guns from local police, reports the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. In Atlanta’s Fulton County, Chief Judge A.L. Thompson said a few judges have always been armed and since the March 11 rampage, more are bringing their own guns to work. “A number of judges, including myself, have chosen to wear weapons,” Thompson said. “I keep one in the car and in chambers.” He said the FBI and other agencies have warned that another defendant might use a gun to escape, settle a score, or seek publicity. “We are concerned about copycats,” Thompson said.
State law allows judges to carry guns into court. Arch McGarity, a Superior Court judge in Clayton’s neighbor, Henry County, said he has carried a gun to the bench infrequently for five years but does so 95 percent of the time since the Fulton shootings. “I like having a gun, because it gives me a great deal of confidence that I will complete the day,” he said.