Citizens’ right to bear arms prompts constitutional crisis between Sheriff, Courts

A constitutional crisis if looming in the 12th Judicial Circuit — a showdown of sorts between Chief Judge Charles Williams and Sarasota County Sheriff Tom Knight.

Late last month, Knight removed the deputies from all of the court’s non-courtroom facilities — such as the Clerk of Court’s Office — where they screened visitors for weapons, after his legal team determined they could be in violation of the state’s powerful preemption statute, which allows only the Florida Legislature to regulate firearms.