Brady Street Athletic Complex

Gun ban at schools includes district stadiums, Iowa Supreme Court says

Dec. 10, 2019
Judges say ban on firearms applies even though the Davenport, Iowa, stadium in question is a mile from a high school.

The Iowa Supreme Court has ruled that a school district's athletic field is still considered school property even when it is detached from any school buildings.

The Des Moines Register reports that the ruling came in the case of a man who was convicted of carrying a firearm on the grounds of the Davenport (Iowa) district.

In September 2017, James Mathias brought a gun to the Brady Athletic Complex, a venue that is more than a mile from Davenport North High and owned by the school district. Davenport North High School football team was playing Davenport Central.

In the parking lot outside the stadium, which has a sign that reads, "Davenport Community Schools," a Davenport police captain on patrol saw Mathias putting flyers on parked cars.

The officer noticed Mathias was carrying a gun, and Mathias presented the officer with a carry permit.

Police got Mathias away from the property because he had been acting "kind of agitated or annoyed" that an officer was there, court documents show.

The officer also wasn't sure whether the complex was considered to be school grounds, and therefore didn't know if Mathias had broken the law.

A few months later, the Scott County Attorney's Office, charged Mathias with carrying a firearm on school grounds, a class D felony.

A jury subsequently convicted Mathias.

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