Lawsuit Alleges 30 Guns in Professor’s Workspace

A Miramar College adjunct professor has filed a lawsuit against the school claiming he did not  get a promised full-time faculty spot after he raised concerns about firearms that were missing or unregistered at the school. The school happens to have a firing range for the San Diego police academy. Jim Soeten is a part-time professor filed a claim with the school on February 5. It was rejected by the college on March 19, to which Soeten and his lawyer gave notice of a formal lawsuit.

Back in October 2014, another faculty member, Jordan Omens, was disciplined for bringing a firearm to a meeting (Omens was placed on leave after the incident). Soeten had also complained to the school that other faculty members were illegally selling ammunition to students. In his lawsuit, Soeten says that more than 30 firearms have been found by college officials in the office area and workspace that were not owned by the school. He also claims that one gun was found to be registered to former San Diego Police Chief and Mayor Jerry Sanders. The lawsuit further claims that Soeten was told to keep quiet about the unaccounted-for firearms.

Guns in Schools in California: Exemptions

California state law specifically prohibits someone from carrying a firearm into a school zone, but the law exempts honorably retired law enforcement officers and active law enforcement. See CA Penal Code § 626.9 (California’s Gun-Free  School Zone Act).

You are guilty if you bring a gun into a place you reasonably should know is within a school zone. A school zone includes preschools, grade schools, and universities, and encompasses areas within 1,000 feet from the school. This counts even if you are parked in your car within a school zone, and there is a gun in your car.  However, a school zone does not refer to “a place of residence or place of business or on private property that is not part of the school.”

Violation of this law is a felony punishable by a two to five year prison sentence. Further, discharging a firearm within a school zone if you are not law enforcement subjects you to up to seven years imprisonment.

San Diego Criminal Defense Attorney

The Law Offices of David M. Boertje has handled all types of Misdemeanor and Felony criminal cases in San Diego County, including possession of illicit substances, possession of firearms, and violent and non-violent crimes. Do not fight gun charges alone. We have successfully represented many defendants, including those with unlawful possession charges. If you have been charged with bringing a gun near a school zone or unlawful possession of firearms, contact attorney David Boertje today. Consultations are free and confidential.