State v G.M.; 562011CJ1045A
Arresting Agency: Port Saint Lucie Police Department
Case Summary: Our client is a high school student. He brought a antique firearm to his school with the intention of showing it to his class. The current discussion had been about the civil war and he thought it would interesting for the class to observe a flintlock civil war replica firearm. Unfortunately the school administration and the school resource officer didn’t think too kindly of this purely altruistic gesture. On top of that, they were also unfamiliar with Florida law. So our client gets arrested and searched. During the search the police find a pocketknife in our client’s pocket. Again, a complete lack of knowledge of the law by the administration and the police led to this being viewed as a crime. If only they had called my office on the spot, we could have explained to them that under the law in the sunshine state, possession of an antique replica firearm is not a crime under florida statute section 790.001(6), unless the antique firearm is used in the commission of a crime. Neither is it a crime to possess a “common pocketknife” on school grounds in the state of florida. This is because section 790.115(2) of the Florida statutes exempts possession of a common pocketknife from the definition of a weapon that may not be possessed on school property. Maybe next time they’ll call. Probably not. Anyway, as luck would have it, the prosecutor who took on the case happened to be an intelligent and reasonable individual (it happens every once in a while). We had several meetings and exchanges of legal authority.
Result: The State dropped the case.
Brian Mallonee is a Criminal Defense Lawyer Serving St Lucie, Indian River, Martin, and Okeechobee Counties