246,000 Weapons Seized At LA Courthouses In ’08


Security screeners at Los Angeles County’s 48 court buildings last year confiscated 53,302 knives, 24,783 scissors, 21,014 razors, 8,208 pairs of handcuffs and 114 stun guns, the Los Angeles Times reports. The numbers come from the latest L.A. County Superior Court annual report. The number of banned weapons seized jumped to 245,868 from 199,015 two years earlier. A total of 21 million screenings were performed in the L.A. court system, the nation’s largest, in the first 10 months of last year.

Other finds: assorted hand tools, brass knuckles and a sword disguised as a cane. Screeners also seized seven unspecified lethal weapons, two daggers and two handguns. In one instance at the Long Beach courthouse, security personnel found a gun hidden inside a woman’s diaper bag. The woman had come to see her husband, who was appearing in court to face charges of making terrorist threats, and was unaware she was carrying the gun. “The weapons screen capability is literally life and death for anyone who works or does business in courthouses,” said court spokesman Allan Parachini. “As time-consuming as people may find it, it is absolutely critical.” Security screenings were instituted a decade ago in the aftermath of a deadly shooting at the downtown civil courthouse.

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