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Thread: Man charged with bringing weapon onto college campus, yesterday, in Martinsburg, WV

  1. #1
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    Man charged with bringing weapon onto college campus, yesterday, in Martinsburg, WV

    Please read and post your thoughts.

    http://www.journal-news.net/page/con....html?nav=5006

    Thanks,
    Justin Mang

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    Additional commentary:

    This story just came to WVCDL's attention this evening and we will be following it very closely. Thanks to Clint Sullivan for bringing this story to our attention. Those of you in the Eastern Panhandle should be prepared to take action in response to this story, so check your e-mail regularly and follow the advice in the item above for staying in touch with WVCDL.

    In a nutshell, West Virginia state law does not criminalize carrying on a college, university, or other post-secondary educational institution's campus. As it relates to schools, W.Va. Code § 61-7-11a(b)(1) provides: "It shall be unlawful for any person to possess any firearm or any other deadly weapon on any school bus as defined in section one, article one, chapter seventeen-a of this code, or in or on any public or private primary or secondary education building, structure, facility or grounds thereof, including any vocational education building, structure, facility or grounds thereof where secondary vocational education programs are conducted or at any school-sponsored function." This language is very clear and does not include post-secondary institutions (universities, colleges, community colleges, etc.).

    Even if there was a violation of some campus policy (whose legality under state law I would seriously question), a campus rule violation is not grounds for a lawful arrest--much less felony charges.

    I hope Joshua Beck gets a good attorney. As this story did not indicate whether Mr. Beck had a concealed handgun license, I cannot say right now whether Mr. Beck's conduct was completely legal. If Mr. Beck did not have a CHL, he could still be charged & convicted of a misdemeanor concealed weapons charge under W.Va. Code § 61-7-3. However, if Mr. Beck had a CHL, there was no crime and he could actually have a good case for a civil lawsuit for a variety of claims.

    We will let you know more about this case when we have additional information.
    Last edited by JimMullinsWVCDL; 10-16-2011 at 01:18 AM.
    James M. "Jim" Mullins, Jr., Esq.
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    A side note to this story is that the building which holds Blue Ridge CTC is also home to some of the Berkeley County offices. Martinsburg does have an ordinance in place to ban weapons on city property, BUT the ordinance was put into place after the state preemption laws so it would not be enforceable. Basically for all that do not know the college is downstairs and the offices are upstairs.

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    Regular Member R50FJ60's Avatar
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    If its not prohibited by the higher power (state of wv), then the school should be told to get stuffed.
    X2 on hoping he has a good attorny.
    Who knows, maybe (hopefully) this will be the straw that broke the camels back- Just imagine, being able to go across campus at night armed and not having to worry about some drunken thug wanna-be trying to rob you. . .
    Last edited by R50FJ60; 10-16-2011 at 02:09 PM.

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    More details on this story

    http://articles.herald-mail.com/2011...college-campus

    "At no time was there any active threat," the college said Friday evening in a statement explaining the reason for the abrupt closure at 5 p.m. Thursday.

    A former Martinsburg Correctional Center officer, Beck was arraigned Thursday by Magistrate Joan V. Bragg. He was released from custody on a $2,500 personal recognizance bond, according to court documents.

    College staff member said that Beck was in class when she noticed "a large bulge" beneath his shirt near his waistband on his back and, fearing it was a firearm, reported it to the school's student services director, the documents said.

    Beck told the student services director that he did have a gun "because it's my job,"

    Gardner later determined that Beck does have a concealed weapons permit, the documents said.

    "At this time, there does not appear to be reason for alarm," Deputy County Administrator Alan J. Davis said in an email sent Friday to county employees notifying them of the situation.




    --- this puts everything into perspective for everyone. seems the college was trying to make a point that they do not want ANY guns on their campus.

    Justin Mang

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    Quote Originally Posted by R50FJ60 View Post
    If its not prohibited by the higher power (state of wv), then the school should be told to get stuffed.
    X2 on hoping he has a good attorny.
    Who knows, maybe (hopefully) this will be the straw that broke the camels back- Just imagine, being able to go across campus at night armed and not having to worry about some drunken thug wanna-be trying to rob you. . .
    Just a clarification, the incident happened at the annex in the old Corning plant, not the campus downtown.

    It's good to hear he had his CHL. That puts things in a whole new light.

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    Angry Double-down: Joshua Beck charged, arrested again!

    James M. "Jim" Mullins, Jr., Esq.
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    Founder, Past President, Treasurer, and General Counsel, West Virginia Citizens Defense League, Inc.
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    Regular Member MilProGuy's Avatar
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    Let's see:

    It is against the state law to bring a firearm onto the college campus.

    And this guy thought the law was for everyone else, and brought a concealed handgun onto college property, and was arrested.

    My thought: you reap what you sow.
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    Quote Originally Posted by MilProGuy View Post
    Let's see:

    It is against the state law to bring a firearm onto the college campus.
    Not in the State of West Virginia. W.Va. Code § 61-7-11a(b)(1) only prohibits carrying on primary and secondary school property; it does not mention colleges or universities (or other "institutions of higher education," as West Virginia law often terms them).
    James M. "Jim" Mullins, Jr., Esq.
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    Founder, Past President, Treasurer, and General Counsel, West Virginia Citizens Defense League, Inc.
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    Quote Originally Posted by MilProGuy View Post
    Let's see:

    It is against the state law to bring a firearm onto the college campus.

    No it is not - WVa statute is silent on the issue. Normally a cite would be requested, but JimMullinsWVCDL has already provided that.
    And this guy thought the law was for everyone else, and brought a concealed handgun onto college property, and was arrested.

    Falsely arrested, using an inapplicable law.
    My thought: you reap what you sow.
    As to the latter, I could not agree more. The college administrators and LEOs should take heed, but perhaps that day has passed - they have already stepped in it.
    You will not rise to the occasion; you will fall back on your level of training.” Archilochus, 650 BC

    Old and treacherous will beat young and skilled every time. Yata hey.

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    So let me try to understand this. He was arrested yesterday for carrying a gun a couple days before he got arrested the first time? Well at this point the county is just trying to prove they have power. Glad he has a good lawyer.

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    Regular Member MilProGuy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JimMullinsWVCDL View Post
    Not in the State of West Virginia. W.Va. Code § 61-7-11a(b)(1) only prohibits carrying on primary and secondary school property; it does not mention colleges or universities (or other "institutions of higher education," as West Virginia law often terms them).
    Thank you for the link and for correcting me.

    My initial comments were based strictly on this quote from the release:

    "...according to a statement released Friday evening. One incident involved a student bringing a concealed weapon onto the BRCTC satellite campus, which is against state law, and two separate incidents involved medical issues, the release states."

    Looks as if the release was wrong...but this still doesn't excuse my ignorance.

    But, since I am here to learn, I'm not going to beat myself over it. I'll apologize and move on.
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    Post Joshua Beck: I’m being painted as the bad guy

    James M. "Jim" Mullins, Jr., Esq.
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    Founder, Past President, Treasurer, and General Counsel, West Virginia Citizens Defense League, Inc.
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    http://www.journal-news.net/page/con....html?nav=5006

    Looks like this is getting the attention it deserves. Now we have his side of the story. There is also a protest event in place for this Saturday in Martinsburg. Here is the facebook like to the event. Let us all support this man.

    http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=23386130000092

    Thanks all.
    Justin Mang

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    Moderator / Administrator Grapeshot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by justinmang892 View Post
    http://www.journal-news.net/page/con....html?nav=5006

    Looks like this is getting the attention it deserves. Now we have his side of the story. There is also a protest event in place for this Saturday in Martinsburg. Here is the facebook like to the event. Let us all support this man.

    http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=23386130000092

    Thanks all.
    Justin Mang
    Has facebook taken this down?

    This is what I get when I click on the link:

    "Event Unavailable
    We're sorry, this Event isn't working right now. Please try again later."
    You will not rise to the occasion; you will fall back on your level of training.” Archilochus, 650 BC

    Old and treacherous will beat young and skilled every time. Yata hey.

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    Try this link. Looks like I left a number off at the end.

    http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=233861300000923

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    Regular Member hermannr's Avatar
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    I think before this is done, the college, and the Sheriff will end up paying for Mr Beck's education.

  18. #18
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    James M. "Jim" Mullins, Jr., Esq.
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  19. #19
    Moderator / Administrator Grapeshot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JimMullinsWVCDL View Post
    Has there been a date set to hear motions?
    You will not rise to the occasion; you will fall back on your level of training.” Archilochus, 650 BC

    Old and treacherous will beat young and skilled every time. Yata hey.

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    Last I heard was monday 10/31, no time given that I could find

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    Quote Originally Posted by Grapeshot View Post
    Has there been a date set to hear motions?
    No. There will be no motion hearing, no preliminary hearing, and no further criminal proceedings as the prosecuting attorney has dropped all charges and called on the Legislature to ban guns on college campuses.
    James M. "Jim" Mullins, Jr., Esq.
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    Quote Originally Posted by JimMullinsWVCDL View Post
    No. There will be no motion hearing, no preliminary hearing, and no further criminal proceedings as the prosecuting attorney has dropped all charges and called on the Legislature to ban guns on college campuses.
    On to phase II?
    You will not rise to the occasion; you will fall back on your level of training.” Archilochus, 650 BC

    Old and treacherous will beat young and skilled every time. Yata hey.

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    Regular Member hermannr's Avatar
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    Now to get the college's policy invalidated, and maybe a bit of compensation? An injunction against the school so Mr. Beck can get back to class?

    Definitly sounds like you are headed in the right direction.
    Last edited by hermannr; 10-27-2011 at 01:27 AM.

  24. #24
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    James M. "Jim" Mullins, Jr., Esq.
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    What I would like to know...

    ... is now that the criminal charges are dropped, what has or is happening with the school board's "code of conduct" disciplinary hearing?

    From artical: "School officials are following the code of conduct hearing protocol to further address this incident."
    Beck, who is currently suspended from classes, hopes the situation will be resolved soon.
    Found the Student Handbook here: PDF link

    Page 29 &30:
    II. Disruptive and disorderly conduct, which endangers the safety or well being of others, is prohibited. (Class I or Class II Offenses)
    ...
    D. Storage or use of firearms, firecrackers, explosives, blank pistols, air rifles, air pistols, archery equipment, swords, knives with blades in excess of four inches in length, or any other item that may constitute a weapon on campus, except as required for an academic class.
    This is the only place that talks about firearms. It was not "Stored" or "used", it was carried (legally). So can they still say he is breaking a school code?

    Maybe they will use sub B:

    B. Disorderly conduct or disturbing the peace on Blue Ridge property or at functions sponsored by Blue Ridge; actions which disrupt or interfere with the instructional program or threaten the orderliness, operation, or well being of the campus.
    And if they do kick him out of the school, what civil suit might he bring against the school?

    ... *(^#^%$%$*(*& it, just saw JimMullins post above, so now they are trying some back-door trespassing misdemeanor charges, sheesh.
    Last edited by Lord Sega; 10-27-2011 at 03:04 AM.

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