EVANSVILLE, In. (WEHT) – A hefty fine could be imposed on anyone who decides to bring a weapon into any public buildings in Vanderburgh County that contain courtrooms.

In Tuesday’s meeting, the Vanderburgh County Commission signed an ordinance that builds upon an already-existing rule about weapons in courtrooms. The rule, however, did not include any consequences for violators.

Now, a first-time offender could face a $500 fine for bringing a gun into court and $250 for other kinds of weapons. Sheriff Noah Robinson says authorities are constantly turning people away because of firearms, but without any penalties, there’s no way to deter frequent offenders.

“This is going to discourage that kind of behavior, and it has been an issue,” says Sheriff Robinson. “We routinely turn away firearms to the tune of 6 to 7 a year, and easily handle over 2,000 other types of weapons or prohibited objects that are being brought into the facility.”

The ordinance will move to a second reading and if approved, it will go into effect immediately.