UPD confiscates rifle from residence hall

 

According to UPD, an unloaded 22-caliber rifle was found in a Sierra Madre dorm room on Tuesday night.

According to university police, an unloaded 22-caliber rifle was found in a Sierra Madre dorm room on Tuesday night.

Campus police confiscated an unloaded rifle found in Sierra Madre Residence Hall on Tuesday night, according to University Police Department (UPD) Chief George Hughes.

The gun, a 22-caliber rifle, was found after police received a tip that a student was keeping a firearm in the residence hall, Hughes said. According to Penalty Code 626.9(h), it is illegal for any individual to bring a firearm onto a school campus without a concealed weapons permit.

UPD obtained permission from one of the room’s occupants to enter the premises, at which point they searched the room, he said. Police found the unloaded rifle, as well as ammunition, in the room.

“The roommate did not know that the gun was there,” Hughes said. ”The owner of the gun and resident of the room was not there. He was off campus, actually out of town at the time.”

UPD confiscated the firearm and interviewed the rifle’s owner — an unidentified male student — once he returned to campus on Wednesday, Hughes said.

“There is nothing to lead us to believe that he was hoping to do anything negative to campus,” Hughes said.

Charges have not been made on the student yet, though they will be reviewed by the District Attorney’s Office on Friday, Hughes said. If approved, the student could face anything from probation to jail time for the crime.

Hughes said he hopes to have the investigation completed within the week.

Kaytlyn Leslie contributed to this staff report.

  • http://www.rogerfreberg.com roger freberg

    I understand that Cal Poly is a Conceal and Carry Campus and as such students need to be informed at orientation as to the rules and responsibilities of bringing firearms on campus.

    Some universities provide gun lockers (often in the Police building) where rifles can be kept safely.

    • NRA

      Concealed carry has nothing to do with rifles, students living in Sierra Madre (a first-year residence hall) are not allowed to legally purchase handguns, and students living on campus enter a contractual agreement promising not to store weapons in campus housing.

      • Mike

        As the report states, it is not a handgun it is in fact a rifle, which freshmen (given they are at least 18 years old and have no criminal record) are legally allowed to claim ownership of rifles and shotguns (as well as purchase them) per CA law. I personally own a rifle, though I am smart enough to leave it at home with my parents. He should have researched local gun clubs/ranges that have gun lockers for rent where he could have stored his rifle.

        • Jim

          The point is that this student, as he was living in the on-campus housing, must have signed an agreement which specifically stated that no weapons would be kept on campus.

          • Rights

            So if the agreement also stated that the student would not participate in political discussions while on campus, would you be OK with that as well? Both are constitutionally protected freedoms… one is the first and the other the second.

  • Matthew

    When I went to Poly eons ago we simply checked our firearms with the CPPD. How times change.

    Given the hatred and fear of firearms by so many people today, I suspect this poor kid will be crucified and that’s a shame.

  • Rights

    Long guns (rifles, shotguns) do not need to be registered. Additionally, California is a “may-issue” for concealed weapons permits. San Luis Obispo might as well be a “no-issue” county, just like some of the other “liberal” and freedom-loving counties (SF, Sacramento counties, etc).

    That being said, there is legal precedent that you have the right to defend your domicile, or dwelling-house, as it were. A dorm room qualifies. Honestly, I love Cal Poly and UPD hasn’t done dumb stuff like other campus police departments have (see UC Davis), but I hope the student fights for his rights.

    For those of you who are not informed, by the way, a .22 is a small caliber rifle. All guns are dangerous, but the article makes it seem like the kid had an M16 or AK-47 in his room, and this is just not the case.

    • Cameron

      You are correct that it is extremely difficult, if not impossible, to get a CCW in many California counties (Sacramento is actually a weird exception, they have a very pro-gun sheriff at the moment). But despite being a self-described conservative, SLO County Sheriff Ian Parkinson (like his predecessor Pad Hedges) is quite stingy in issuing permits. There is a federal law barring guns within 1000 feet of a school zone (unless the person has a state-issued CCW), but the courts have recognized the right to keep a firearm in a domicile. And this right applies even if a person lives within 1000 feet of a school. But like it or not, there is no precedent suggesting that firearms must be allowed on college campus res halls.

      In most “shall issue” states, in fact, they explicitly prohibit CCW on college campuses (whether possessed in the dorm, or carried concealed to class). Texas is one example that prohibits both. California, while being one of the more difficult states to get a permit in, is actually very lax in where you can carry your weapon. IF, and that’s the big IF, you can get a permit in the first place. Otherwise, state law does prohibit ANYONE (except police and CCW holders) from possessing a firearm on CSU and UC property. Even though it’s his domicile, he is still on state property. And without having a CCW (which he can’t get until he’s 21, and is very unlikely to get in SLO anyway), he would be in violation of the law regarding possession on CSU property.

      That said, I think it’s a silly law. I have friends out of state in ROTC and they can keep their rifles on campus (stored with the police, as Matthew suggests). I really do feel bad for this kid, this could definitely hurt his future- what to tell employers. It may prohibit him from owning a gun (not completely sure if that conviction would be a disqualifier). It certainly won’t look good if he applies for a CCW in the future and has to explain to the Sheriff why he was in illegal possession of a firearm on a college campus.

      If I were on a jury, I would certainly not vote to convict this poor kid for his harmless ignorance. But the lesson here is if you want to own a gun in California, you have to take the responsibility VERY seriously. Know the law. Know where you can and can’t carry, how to transport, etc. I don’t think he considered seriously enough the ramifications of that decision when he brought it. Really wish he would have waited till he moved off campus next year…

      Book I highly recommend: “How to Own a Gun and Stay out of Jail” (2011 California edition)

      • Rights

        Cameron,

        Very good and well argued position. (By the way, I think I know you… if so I may have been your CA a few years back. Also, I didn’t know Sacramento was lax now. That is surprising).

        In any case, you listed the applicable laws. There is a conflict; one can have a firearm in their domicile even if it is within 1000 ft of a school zone. Similarly, while Cal Poly does not qualify as a school zone, there is a section (h), I believe), that addresses firearms in dorms. I would argue that this student’s dormroom is his domicile. This would be even more true in PCV. I know numerous students that actually changed their drivers license to reflect their mailing address in PCV (XXXX Canyon Cr.).

        Where is the line drawn? If you argue against him having a rifle in the dorm because it’s state property, what about someone who lives in HUD housing? Someone who receives rent assistance? A student who receives grant money from the State/Fed?

        That is why I think that he should sue Cal Poly/UPD. Not because of any malice towards the school or UPD, but because this is an issue that must be ironed out; which has precedence, a constitutional right, or some ill thought state statute?

        As for Ian Parkinson, I hope that he is voted out and replaced by someone who actually sticks to his word. He said that permits would be issued given a couple simple conditions were met. I wish Cortez had won; he stated that he would allow them in all legal instances.

  • Rights

    Cameron,

    Very good and well argued position. (By the way, I think I know you… if so I may have been your CA a few years back. Also, I didn\’t know Sacramento was lax now. That is surprising).

    In any case, you listed the applicable laws. There is a conflict; one can have a firearm in their domicile even if it is within 1000 ft of a school zone. Similarly, while Cal Poly does not qualify as a school zone, there is a section (h), I believe), that addresses firearms in dorms. I would argue that this student\’s dormroom is his domicile. This would be even more true in PCV. I know numerous students that actually changed their drivers license to reflect their mailing address in PCV (XXXX Canyon Cr.).

    Where is the line drawn? If you argue against him having a rifle in the dorm because it\’s state property, what about someone who lives in HUD housing? Someone who receives rent assistance? A student who receives grant money from the State/Fed?

    That is why I think that he should sue Cal Poly/UPD. Not because of any malice towards the school or UPD, but because this is an issue that must be ironed out; which has precedence, a constitutional right, or some ill thought state statute?

    As for Ian Parkinson, I hope that he is voted out and replaced by someone who actually sticks to his word. He said that permits would be issued given a couple simple conditions were met. I wish Cortez had won; he stated that he would allow them in all legal instances.

  • Sean

    Fortunately it doesn’t sound like this guy is going to get the news blown up all over him, with a bunch of anti-gun nuts trying to put him in prison forever. Hopefully.

    Besides, the whole ‘gun free zone’ idea clearly isn’t working very well. School shootings are so common because the crazy people know they won’t get stopped by anyone on campus. They have at least a few minutes before police arrive. There is no positive effect for law abiding citizens (or students), but there is a huge positive effect for the people who want to kill a bunch of, literally, defenseless students and teachers. But, it’ll be a while before states like California and its residents understand that.

    Anyway, I very seriously hope the school/sheriff goes as light as legally possible on this guy. If he waned to hurt anyone, he wouldn’t bring a .22 long rifle.

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