A recent study by the Guilford County Security Department shows that Guilford County citizens are getting the message: You can’t bring your weapons into the county’s two courthouses.

That might sound like simple common sense to a lot of people who know that knives, mace and other weapons will not make it through the courthouse checkpoints in either Greensboro or High Point; however, the new study – which looks at the trends of contraband items over the last three years – shows that plenty of citizens haven’t gotten that memo.

On the plus side, however, there were fewer weapons being brought to the courthouses last year even though the number of court patrons was up.

In 2016, there were 1,069,644 people who came through the checkpoints at the two courthouses.  That number rose to 1,097,138 in 2017 and it rose again to 1,105,046 in 2018.  Despite those increases, the number of knives found on people entering fell from 2,085 in 2016, to 1,633 in 2017, to only 985 last year.

That’s the number of knives “Found on Persons.”  Some other knives were surrendered by people entering who, for instance, realized at the last minute that they had a knife on them.  The number of knives that were surrendered by the person rather than discovered by security guards fell from 542 in 2016 to 275 last year.

Other dangerous items also declined in frequency: In that three-year period, the instances of mace found on people fell from 892 to 385 and the number of razors dropped from 277 to 79.  In both cases, the number of those items voluntarily surrendered at the checkpoints also fell.

Courthouse guards aren’t seeing less of every banned item, however. The number of brass knuckles found on court patrons has increased: In 2016, eight pairs were found on those entering, but in 2018 there were 20 pairs.

The number of people bringing drugs or drug paraphernalia into the two courthouses has stayed fairly flat.  Last year 20 people came through with drugs or drug paraphernalia, which is nearly identical to the number, 21, of people who did so in 2016.