PAHRUMP, Nev. (KLAS) — Rather than face a potential challenge at the state supreme court, Nye County commissioners voted Tuesday to move two district courtrooms from a county complex to new buildings over a judicial order banning weapons in the county complex.

In a meeting on Dec. 16, the commissioners unanimously voted to remove a judicial order banning firearms in the Ian Deutch Government Complex, which houses both the Fifth Judicial District Court and the Pahrump Justice Court.

During Tuesday’s meeting, the board unanimously voted to move the district court from the complex, citing the high cost of a potential legal battle.

“Why are we not enforcing this and putting the judges in their place?” Commissioner Diana Cox said. “Why are they allowed to do this when they can put people in prison for life and we can’t do anything back?”

The county owns the building, but the judiciary runs the courtrooms. Under state law, the county is required to provide the judiciary with space and pay for utilities.

Just a piece of paper prevented a person from bringing a firearm into a Nye County courthouse until the Board of Commissioners voted to remove the ban put in place by judges working in the county-owned building. (KLAS)

In 2010, after several shootings at courthouses, including one at the federal building in Las Vegas, District Court Judge Robert Lane wrote an order forbidding firearms in the building and the court’s other office in Tonopah. Instead, county employees could apply to carry concealed weapons.

The judicial order specifically mentions the “courthouse” and its “courtrooms, chambers, offices, annexes” and other rooms where a judicial proceeding may be underway.

The judges’ say to ban weapons, according to the commissioners, does not apply outside of their chambers. That includes most of the building, including the hallways.

Speaking with the I-Team in February, District Court Judge Kim Wanker said concerns about her safety have prompted her to keep a gun safe on her bench.

“I am certain it’s an incident waiting to happen,” she said. “It’s not if it happens, it’s when it happens.”

There is no security at the main entrance, which leads to the district attorney’s office and to the clerk. County commissioners said they control the halls. A Nevada state law gives the control of county buildings to their respective commissioners.

In Clark County, entrances to the Regional Justice Center, home to the Eighth Judicial District Court and Las Vegas Justice Court, are flanked with security. The building also houses the Clark County District Attorney’s Office.

Security measures, like a $90,000 scanner, sit in storage. The judges said the county will not pay to staff it. (KLAS)

During Tuesday’s meeting, the commissioners openly discussed having the order challenged to the Nevada Supreme Court, which they indicated could be a losing battle.

A county attorney warned the commissioners taking the issue to the high court could be costly, but that moving the courts to two other buildings would also bare an unknown cost as well.

Commissioner Debra Strickland noted Nye County is growing and said the vote provided an opportunity to move the courtrooms amid an increasing workload and population.

Tuesday’s vote does not affect the Pahrump Justice Court.