Judge: King William supervisor can renew gun permit, despite reports he brought gun to board meeting

jojacobs@tidewaterreview.com

King William supervisor Dave Hansen can receive a renewed concealed carry permit, a circuit court judge ruled Wednesday. The decision comes after his application was denied because School Board members reported finding a gun at a board meeting in February 2016 they believed was his.

Hansen’s application to renew his concealed carry permit was denied by Commonwealth’s Attorney Matthew Kite in September.

“The threats to the safety of the community are significant,” said Kite of the school incident.

Typically, applicants seeking to renew their permit must submit it to the local circuit court. The renewal form passes through law enforcement before it is reviewed by the commonwealth’s attorney and a judge, Kite said.

If approved, the permit is good for another five years.

Hansen, who believed the decision was politically motivated, requested a hearing in King William Circuit Court to fight the denial. A judge ruled in his favor Wednesday.

King William School Board members Kathy Morrison, Steven Tupponce and Lindsay Robinson testified Hansen attended a board budget meeting Feb. 8, 2016, in Hamilton-Holmes Middle School.

At the conclusion of the regular meeting, the board went into closed session to discuss a personnel matter. Hansen and two other members of the public left the meeting at that time, Morrison said.

The School Board members at the meeting recalled a brown vest was left behind in Hansen’s chair when he exited the room.

“I saw what I thought was a gun” in the vest, Tupponce said.

He said he inspected the vest because he had a suspicion Hansen may have left a recording device in it.

Robinson also inspected the vest and said she believed she saw a handgun in the vest.

The three School Board members then discussed how to handle the incident. They agreed to have King William Sheriff Jeff Walton talk to Hansen about the incident, Morrison said.

“We decided that it was an accidental occurrence,” Morrison said

A state police criminal investigation of the incident didn’t result in charges for Hansen, Kite said outside the courtroom.

Hansen’s attorney Tory Williams suggested there’s bias in the community against his client.

Both Morrison and Robinson testified that Hansen, a conservative supervisor, is often at odds with the School Board on spending and budgets. Both School Board members said their disagreements with Hansen were based in policy and weren’t personal.

Williams drew attention to how the School Board handled the incident, noting that the division superintendent and school principal weren’t notified of a firearm being on school grounds, as is required by the division’s policy manual. Morrison said neither individual was informed.

“We choose to exercise discretion,” Morrison said.

The division policy manual also requires staff who bring firearms on campus receive a punishment up to and including dismissal, according to the document. Hansen was a substitute teacher at the time, but he wasn’t dismissed due to the incident, Morrison said.

The judge ruled Hansen can have his permit, saying no evidence specifically showed that the vest belonged to Hansen.

Jacobs can be reached by phone at 757-298-6007.

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