'Sovereign citizen' arrested with gun on school campus - WNCN: News, Weather

'Sovereign citizen' arrested with gun on school campus

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Hillsborough deputies arrested a man who called himself a "sovereign citizen" for having a handgun on a school campus.

It happened on Thursday at Turkey Creek Middle School in Plant City, around 4:00 PM.  A school resource deputy, Patrick Diaz, spotted Bruce Charmers Hicks, 48, walking on Connell Road next to the campus.  The deputy noticed that Hicks had a small firearm in a holster. 

Deputy Diaz called for Hicks to stop.  Hicks turned around, and stepped on to school property.  Investigators say Hicks then told the deputy there was a $250 fine for every fifteen minutes of "unlawful detention".  Hicks stated that he is a "sovereign citizen", and not subject to the laws of the United States or Hillsborough County. 

When Deputy Diaz asked if he was carrying a gun, Hicks said he was, and continued to state that he was not subject to laws.

Deputy Diaz seized Hicks' .32-caliber handgun.  There were two live cartridges in the barrels.

According to the FBI's website:  "The FBI considers sovereign-citizen extremists as comprising a domestic terrorist movement which, scattered across the United States, has existed for decades, with well-known members, such as Terry Nichols, who helped plan the Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, bombing. Sovereign citizens do not represent an anarchist group, nor are they a militia, although they sometimes use or buy illegal weapons. Rather, they operate as individuals without established leadership and only come together in loosely affiliated groups to train, help each other with paperwork, or socialize and talk about their ideology."

Hicks has an extensive criminal history, including lewd or lascivious molestation of victims under 18.


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