Man slapped with $15,000 bond for bringing loaded gun into jail

by: Tom Jones Updated:

Clayton County jail officials are wondering why 25-year-old Joel Pettis saw nothing wrong with bringing a gun into the jail when deputies stopped him.
CLAYTON COUNTY, Ga. —


Deputies are trying to figure out why a man tried to bring a loaded gun with dozens of rounds of ammunition into the Clayton County jail.

Jail officials said 25-year-old Joel Pettis saw nothing wrong with bringing a gun into the jail when deputies stopped him. They still do not know why Pettis was at the jail to begin with or what he was thinking when he brought the gun to jail.

"Why would you bring a gun to a jail? That's just ridiculous," Diana Martinez told Channel 2's Tom Jones.

In addition to the loaded 38 special revolver, deputies say Pettis was loaded with ammunition. "Fifty rounds of ammunition," Chief Deputy Garland Watkins said.

Deputies said Pettis came into the visitor entrance at the jail with the weapon in his backpack. When deputies told him he couldn't bring the backpack in, that's when they said he told them about the weapon. Deputies told him no weapons are allowed in the jail.


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They said Pettis then argued he has concealed carry license and it should be allowed.

"So they brought him back outside and they showed him the signs that you cannot bring a firearm into a jail. He didn't get it," Watkins said.

Pettis was arrested and charged with carrying a weapon in unauthorized locations, carrying a concealed weapon and crossing a guard line with a firearm. He said very little when he went before a judge.

Deputies said there are signs posted outside the jail entrance and right before you walk in the jail alerting visitors that weapons are prohibited. They didn't know if Pettis was at the jail to visit someone or if he was headed to the sheriff's office.

Deputies said for obvious reasons guns can't be brought into the jail. Jail visitors agree.

"He might be crazy. He might just shoot up everybody. You don't know what can happen. So they did the right thing if you ask me," Diana Martinez said.

"You don't go anywhere where you have to go through security with any type of weapon," jail visitor Perry Terrell said.

Chief Magistrate Judge Daphne Walker gave Pettis a $15,000 bond.

Deputies think he now gets the message that it is illegal to bring a firearm into a jail.