Why was a man allowed to bring a gun into a school meeting in Lincoln without being charged with breaking the law? Why was he offered the chance to store the weapon in his car and then allowed back in the meeting?
The law is very clear when it comes to guns and schools in Nebraska: “unlawful possession of a firearm at a school is a Class IV felony.” Any possession of a firearm at a school is unlawful unless you are in an specific category of law enforcement or meet one of the other few exemptions (e.g. “as part of an honor guard”). This state takes the act of bringing a gun onto school property so seriously, that if law enforcement catches you, they are REQUIRED to take the gun. If a school administrator catches you, they are allowed, but not required to take the gun. You can read the full statute here: 28-1204.01 Unlawful possession of a firearm at a school; penalty; exceptions; confiscation of certain firearms; disposition.
Here’s the story that I’m hearing from witnesses, which was also described in the Lincoln Journal Star. A man openly carried a handgun into an invite only event to interview a candidate for superintendent. Someone notified Joe Wright, who escorted the man out. The man was allowed to put this gun in a vehicle (unclear if it was unloaded and locked up or if the car was locked afterwards) and then allowed to return to the meeting, as though he had not just committed a felony in a school building. We are hearing that the man described himself as a painter who carries a weapon for his employment and forgot he had a loaded weapon on his person.
I want to know, why did Joe Wright, head of LPS security, not take this act seriously?
Why didn’t Sergeant Cooper – badge number1616 – who took the call afterwards, charge the man with a crime?
Why was this man’s weapon not confiscated? Again turning to Nebraska statute, we know that if the weapon had been properly confiscated, Sargent Cooper would be required to file a petition for the destruction of the firearm within ten days, and that the petition would have to “state the name of the owner.” LPS security and our police department failed to uphold Nebraska law.