Lawrence and Douglas County

Lawrence and Douglas county

Man with illegal gun, bulletproof vest detained at Lawrence bank on Tuesday

February 6, 2013


Lawrence police detained a man wearing a bulletproof vest under his shirt and seized a gun Tuesday afternoon after employees at a bank reported the man was behaving suspiciously.

Employees at Bank of America, 900 Ohio St., called police about 1:50 p.m. Tuesday after they saw the man approaching the bank while wearing a bulletproof vest, said Sgt. Trent McKinley, a Lawrence Police Department spokesman. The man, who is in his 20s, had been at the bank previously and had conflicts with employees there.

When officers arrived, they detained the man and confirmed he was wearing a bulletproof vest under his shirt. Police seized a firearm from the man's vehicle and suspect he possessed it illegally as a person who had been involuntarily committed for mental health reasons.

The man has not been booked into jail, and police forwarded information about the incident to the Douglas County District Attorney's Office for review, McKinley said.

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FlintlockRifle 5 years, 1 month ago

Good job bank people, more people should be aware of what comes and goes in your place of business-- ------thanks PS. Hope you all get something from higher ups for being abservant, maybe extra 1/2 lucnh if nothing else

Tammy Copp-Barta 5 years, 1 month ago

Bank of America always has a guard standing outside their doors. Assume he's the one that reacted .. GREAT JOB!!!

Majestic42 5 years, 1 month ago

Surprised the gun wasn't called a fully automatic AK-15 or anything like that.

ljwhirled 5 years, 1 month ago

AR-15 - US Designed Composite Weapon used by NATO and other US allies. Basically a gun for people who can read.

AK-47 - Russian Designed Wooden Weapon used by basically every country or rebel group out there who has illiterate troops.

John Hamm 5 years, 1 month ago

The Russians do have an ability to make inexpensive yet very functional weapons. Too bad we can't learn the trick.

Scott Kaiser 5 years, 1 month ago

You are slow to recognize sarcasm, aren't you, whireld?

Jim Phillips 5 years, 1 month ago

Kudos to the bank, not so much for the LJW. Did the suspect have and illegal gun? If so, what was illegal about it? The story suggests he may have illegally owned it. Big difference, there Ian.

elliottaw 5 years, 1 month ago

They say he was a "person who had been involuntarily committed for mental health reasons" which would keep him from owning/purchasing a gun

notaubermime 5 years, 1 month ago

I personally would not mind knowing how he came to obtain that gun if he had already been involuntarily committed to a mental institution. I would just as soon compile data to find out just how mentally unstable individuals and violent felons are able to obtain guns. Once we have that information, it will give us a good insight into the different options we have for stopping these people before they get to this point.

Brock Masters 5 years, 1 month ago

The problem is the mentally ill are not being put into the background check database. He could have passed the background check since it relies on self reporting of mental illness

notaubermime 5 years, 1 month ago

The background check database relies on the reporting of mental health professionals and states. It frequently seems to be the case, though, that something gets derailed somewhere in the process of reporting such individuals. It would be helpful to have more solid data on exactly where in the process things go wrong and with what frequency. Since each state handles this differently, it would be interesting to know for each state: what percentage of these individuals obtain guns in a manner that does not require background checks; what percentage of these individuals are identified by a mental health professional, but not reported to the state; what percentage of these individuals are reported to the state, but not entered into the national database by the state; and what percentage of these individuals are successfully entered into the database.

We need a clear picture of how and why the national background check database is failing to stop felons and those with mental illness from obtaining guns. That is the best way to make sure the actions we do take to solve this problem will have the greatest chance of being effective.

volunteer 5 years, 1 month ago

I also, budtugly, recently closed my BOA accts and opened them at a more local bank for HALF the fees.

Bursting 5 years, 1 month ago

So he got arrested for wearing a bulletproof vest?

Ron Holzwarth 5 years, 1 month ago

A bulletproof vest, any other bulletproof garment, or any other type of bulletproof item, is perfectly legal to possess, wear, or use anywhere at any time. With some exceptions.

Apparently, except in some states, they cannot be owned by convicted felons, and they cannot be used during the commission of a felony. It seems that state laws differ.

Online information about how to obtain bulletproof items seems to be sketchy. But it's very easy to get the items, just order them from overseas.

JackMcKee 5 years, 1 month ago

Probably just out for a nice afternoon stroll.

geekin_topekan 5 years, 1 month ago

ANother "warrior" in a well regulated militia?

Ron Holzwarth 5 years, 1 month ago

They are legal in Kansas, I asked a police officer about it once.

Ron Holzwarth 5 years, 1 month ago

I looked on several sites that covered California law, and they all said basically the same thing. Unless you are a convected felon, or are in the process of committing a crime, a bulletproof vest is perfectly legal. From:

Bulletproof Vests

According to California's Penal Code Section 12370, bulletproof vests and body armor may only be issued to those who have never been convicted of a violent felony, unless that person can prove a reasonable need for the body armor, e.g., he works as a bodyguard and only uses the body armor at that time. If a convicted felon is found wearing a bulletproof vest when he does not lawfully need to, or if anybody is caught wearing one during the commission of a crime, he is guilty of an additional felony violation.

Ron Holzwarth 5 years, 1 month ago

You have to be a bit off your rocker to rob a bank. The sum of money that you're going to get is rather small, and your chances of getting caught are rather high.

It's much better to get a job at McDonald's flipping burgers for a few months, and you'll get about the same amount of money. The only problem is, it won't be quite as exciting, and I tend to think that the thrill of it is a large part of the reason some criminals commit crimes.

bad_dog 5 years, 1 month ago

Given the information in the article indicated the person involved "...had been at the bank previously and had conflicts with employees there." I'm guessing mayhem rather than armed robbery was on the menu for the day.

ScottyMac 5 years, 1 month ago

Sooo, we're all safer when guys like this are armed, right?

50YearResident 5 years, 1 month ago

Don't confuse illegal possession of a gun with legal possession of a gun by a permit holder. They are not the same. However I bet you don't feel safe when the police are armed either.

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