Beaver County Courthouse / file photo by John Paul

A woman made it through a security checkpoint at the Beaver County Courthouse on Friday with a concealed handgun, the Beaver Countian has confirmed.

“One of my deputies made a mistake, and he missed it. It’s as simple as that” Sheriff George David told the Beaver Countian in a telephone interview about the incident.

Sheriff David said an investigation conducted by his office determined it was Friday afternoon, when a woman entered through the front lobby of the courthouse. She put her purse through an x-ray machine and walked through a metal detector, without the gun being noticed by Sheriff’s Deputies who were stationed at the doors.

It wasn’t until she later opened up her purse, that the woman realized she was carrying a weapon around inside of the courthouse.

“The deputy who was manning the x-ray machine was distracted answering a question for two officers at the same time her purse went through” said Sheriff David. “He didn’t catch the gun.”

The woman, who is engaged to a Hopewell Township Police Officer, went to the Sheriff’s Office to inform them she was carrying the weapon. The gun was secured by Captain James McGeehan, who then questioned her.

The woman has a concealed carry permit, and reportedly told Captain McGeehan she forgot she had been carrying the weapon when she went into the courthouse on Friday. The handgun the woman was carrying had no bullet in its chamber, but there was ammunition in its magazine.

Ironically, one of the things the woman came into the courthouse to do that day, was to renew her gun permit.

“The lady didn’t have bad intentions. She came to my deputies when she realized she had made the mistake, and said she was embarrassed and scared” said Sheriff David.

She was later escorted from the courthouse by deputies.

“The deputy who was manning the x-ray machine has been appropriately disciplined, and is being sent for retraining” said Sheriff David.

Beaver County President Judge John D. McBride was informed about the security breach by the Sheriff shortly after the incident occurred.

“First thing on Monday morning my Sergeants will be reviewing policies and procedures with my men. We are also going to be implementing some additional security measures as a result of this incident” said Sheriff David. “Some of which will be visible to the public, including tinting the windows on the front of the courthouse and altering the positions of x-ray machines — And some of which will not be visible to the general public.”

Sheriff David would not confirm the woman’s name, and said his office has decided not to file criminal charges against her.

John Paul
John Paul is the founder of the Beaver Countian. He reports full-time for the site, specializing in investigative journalism with an emphasis on public corruption.


  1. The few times I’ve entered the building, my fiancee and I have had no problems checking our firearms. The majority of the police were respectful with only one that ever gave me any attitude about carrying. Fortunately this was a non-event for the courthouse.. Considering recent events.

  2. Nice reporting job John Paul. The window tinting is definitely something that is needed, and is being worked on. I’ve observed their procedures and have seen the problems the sunlight and the position of the x-ray machine caused. They’ve always been very diligent and professional when I’ve carried my weapon there.

  3. As a responsible gun owner/carrier this article does nothing but aggrivate me. You carry a weapon to defend your life and potentially the lives of other innocent people. How can you forget you have it? Would you remember when you need to shoot a perpetrator? And don’t even get me started about none in the chamber. Hopefully her renewal was denied. Let this be a lesson for her and everyone else.

  4. well those guys are always goofing off & checking out the ladys!! thats probably how it went unnoticed, they were to busy looking at her ass or something!!!! once my daughter had pepper spray in her coat pocket she had forgotten about & after she took it out of her pocket & told them to hold onto it for her ,they made her leave the court house grounds & wasn’t allowed in or anywhere near the court house!

  5. OOOPS ~ Accidental check point monitoring, gotta love it! Kudos to the lady who ‘turned herself in’ (so to speak), you did us all a favor with your honesty. WAKE-UP security officers, your job isn’t as easy as you think it is…..back to the drawing board and RETRAIN per bosses orders. THEN let a real criminal try to walk into the Beaver County Courthouse with a weapon. Thank you Ms. Good Samaritan!

  6. So I just read this article in the BCT’s and Sheriff David (whom signed my carying permit along with everyone elses in the county) stated “There were no bullets in the chamber, but there were rounds in the clip” There’s that word Clip again!!



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