Ned Carter Walker, 41, recently pleaded guilty to the felony charge of carrying a loaded gun into a California high school. Because of his guilty plea, the prosecution was willing to dismiss Walker’s misdemeanor charge of carrying a knife onto school grounds.
Walker could face up to five years in prison, but he might get off with a significantly reduced sentence. According to Walker’s defense attorney, Michael Berg, the judge indicated that she might downgrade the felony charge to a misdemeanor charge if Walker completes 18 months of probation and a gun safety course. The sentencing is scheduled for Aug. 12.
Walker was arrested in February after some school staff members claimed he was keeping ammunition in his locker. Walker had allegedly also told students that he carried a gun and that he loved firearms.
School officials notified police, who confronted Walker. Walker initially denied the allegations, but the police spotted a bulge in Walker’s pants and patted him down. They discovered a .38-caliber semi-automatic pistol and a knife. The gun was registered and licensed, but Walker did not have a concealed carry permit at the time.
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Walker was arrested and he has been on administrative leave from teaching his seventh and eighth grade classes.
Berg argued that Walker was only carrying the gun because he wanted to be able to protect the children of the school. The fact that Walker apparently did not have any malicious intent could help him fight a harsh jail sentence.
Even if he does get off with probation, Walker will not have his old job waiting for him. Jack Brandais said on behalf of the San Diego Unified School District Walker that Walker is a felon and is therefore ineligible to be a public school teacher according to the California education code.
Walker’s crimes mirror similar incidents in airports where gun owners are stopped and arrested for carrying guns into gun-free zones. Regardless of what a person’s stance is on gun rights, the message that law enforcement and courts are sending to gun owners is quite clear: ignore state and federal gun-free laws at your own peril.
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Source: UT San Diego