[Video] Student Who Had BB Gun in Car Off Campus Won’t Be Suspended, Still Faces Criminal Charge

May 18 2014
by GSL Staff
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Dubuque, Iowa – We have an update to the story we published on Friday about the student who was suspended and arrested after a concerned parent saw what appeared to be a gun in a car parked in a neighborhood near a high school.

It was found that the car belonged to a student at the nearby high school. His car was searched, the BB gun confiscated by police, he was suspended from school and arrested.

Now it seems the school has clarified that there will be no academic punishment and the 1 day suspension will be struck from the student’s record. According to KWWL,

On Friday, Dubuque Community School District Director of School and Community Relations Mike Cyze said following the district’s investigation into the incident, officials will not discipline the student. Cyze said the one-day suspension that happened on Wednesday was never a disciplinary action; that’s just standard procedure during an investigation. Nothing – not even the suspension – will go on the student’s permanent record.

However, the student still isn’t in the clear yet. It seems that a BB gun is considered a weapon, on the same grounds as an actual firearm, in Dubuque, Iowa. Also from KWWL,

Lt. Scott Baxter also said their is a city ordinance in place which considers BB guns weapons.

“It’s not necessarily illegal to possess them or to shoot them in some cases, but you have to fall within the ordinance guidelines and in this particular case that didn’t happen,” Lt. Baxter said.

Since the BB Gun is considered a weapon, Lt. Scott Baxter said the police department has the right to confiscate the weapon until the court case is completely processed.

Lt. Scott Baxter said the student will face a misdemeanor charge for possessing the weapon.

I’m not a lawyer, but I have to wonder if Dubuque’s ordinance violates Iowa’s preemption laws. According to Iowa Code 724.28,

A political subdivision of the state shall not enact an ordinance
regulating the ownership, possession, legal transfer, lawful
transportation, registration, or licensing of firearms when the
ownership, possession, transfer, or transportation is otherwise
lawful under the laws of this state. An ordinance regulating
firearms in violation of this section existing on or after April 5,
1990, is void.

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