Pursuant to a motion, a Broward County judge has dismissed a felony gun charge against a 57-year-old school security guard who had worked for his employer school district for nearly 25 years. There was no question that the man had a Taurus handgun in his SUV that was parked in the parking lot of Olsen Middle School in Dania Beach. The Broward County Sheriff’s Office reported that it obtained a search warrant for the SUV on an anonymous tip. The gun was found on the vehicle’s floorboard.
The Air Force veteran with no criminal history was in possession of a Florida concealed weapon license, but as a result of his arrest, he was dismissed from his position. The applicable Florida statute makes it illegal for anybody to possess a gun on school property. What came to issue is that the defendant was charged with a felony, and that was determined to be the wrong level of the offense because he was a concealed weapon license holder. The judge agreed that the man should have been charged with a misdemeanor and dismissed the felony charge.
The Broward County State’s Attorney’s Office is reviewing the matter in order to determine whether it will proceed further, and the guard is now trying to get his job back.
According to Fort Lauderdale criminal defense attorney Kenneth Hassett, possession of a firearm on school grounds is prohibited by Florida Statute 790.06. Certain exceptions to this statute are addressed at Florida Statute 790.115, et seq. It appears as if Florida law allows a person to possess a concealed firearm in a vehicle on school property so long as he or she is 18 years of age or older and the firearm is securely encased and not readily accessible. School districts are allowed to implement and publish their own individual policies to tighten up this exception. As per federal law, the Gun Free School Act makes it illegal to possess a firearm within 1,000 feet of a school without a concealed weapon license. That crime is punishable by up to five years in prison.
If you or somebody close to you is charged with a gun crime in or around Fort Lauderdale, don’t give the police a statement or confession of any kind. Contact Fort Lauderdale firearm offense attorney Kenneth Hassett right away at 954-791-3939. He’s highly respected by both prosecutors and judges