Carroll Sets Funeral Protest Buffer Zone

Wednesday, June 22, 2011 – Steve Fermier and Carroll County Times
Some new rules for anyone planning to picket a funeral in Carroll County.

The move was sparked by repeated appearances at military memorial services by the Westboro Baptist group out of Kansas.

County commissioners approved the measure that doubles the distance of a pending state law which takes effect later this year.

Tthe sherriff’s department will enforce a 1-thousand foot buffer zone between any protesters and a funeral.

Violaters face a stiff fine and possible six month prison term.

It was not unanimous.

County commissioners debated the measure before approving it.  Two commissioners expressed worries that the law violates the right of free speech and assembly. 

Earlier this year the US Supreme Court sided with the Westboro Baptist group in its fight with Al Snyder over protests at his Marine son’s funeral in Westminster.

In October a state law kicks in later this year that sets up a 500 foot buffer zone.

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