It's one way to assure order in the court.

The New York state Advisory Committee on Judicial Ethics has ruled that it is permissible for judges to pack a pistol beneath their robes while on the bench.

"From an ethical standpoint, there is no prohibition ... barring you from carrying a firearm while performing your duties on the bench," the committee said in a decision published in this week's New York Law Journal.

Judges would have to comply with existing laws to bring a gun into court.

The committee was asked by one of the state's 3,400 judges whether it was "ethically permissible" to carry a pistol into the courtroom. And though it ruled in favor of pistol-packing jurists, the committee warned that judges must "be patient, dignified and courteous" to those appearing before the bench and behave in "a manner that promotes public confidence in the integrity and impartiality of the judiciary."

How to achieve that while armed?

"This committee believes that keeping your firearm concealed and safeguarded on your person while you are on the bench is advisable," the ruling said.