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Austin man receives 26 felony firearm charges

James Lee Chris Walker, 60, of Austin has been charged with 25 counts of felony violent felon in possession of a firearm and one count of felony violent felon in possession of firearm ammunition.

According to the court complaint, a Mower County deputy was dispatched to the City of Lyle on May 25, 2019, after a truck and trailer got stuck on the railroad tracks in the area of Elm Street. The deputy arrived and found a 1995 Chevrolet pickup  with a trailer carrying large logs stuck in the rocks on the east side of the railroad tracks. He requested a tow and spoke with the owner of the truck and trailer, Walker, who was removing logs from the trailer.

Walker said he was hauling the logs to an adjacent property and got stuck after driving on railroad property. The deputy observed that Walker had a black powder revolver (.31 caliber Connecticut Valley Arms) on his hip, which the deputy seized for officer safety. He was advised by Mower County Dispatch that Walker was previously denied a permit to purchase a pistol and the deputy believed that Walker was likely prohibited from possessing firearms. Walker said that he believed the revolver was exempt because it was a black powder antique.

The deputy reviewed Walker’s criminal history and it indicated that Walker was disqualified from possessing firearms. Walker said that he had at least one other antique pistol and the deputy advised Walker to refrain from carrying it in public.

On May 30, 2019, law enforcement executed a search warrant on Walker’s residence in the 500 block of Fourth Street Southwest in Austin. Walker was at the residence and was provided with a copy of the search warrant. On the main floor, the officers located and seized an antique Iver Johnson 12 gauge shotgun (which was in pieces). Walker said he believed he was able to possess “antique firearms” and/or black powder firearms. He also said that his wife had a permit to carry a pistol and that she had handguns and long guns in the residence. Walker said that he did not have access to her firearms, then took the officers to gun safes that were in their second floor bedroom.

The following firearms were seized from the bedroom, the gun safes and a safe in the basement:

• Springfield Meteor .22 caliber rifle;

• Springfield 187S .22 caliber rifle;

• Winchester Model 94 .30-.30 caliber rifle;

• Ranger Model 101-14 .22 caliber rifle;

• Wards Western Field .22 caliber rifle;

• Two SKS Type 45 762 x 39 caliber rifles;

• Two Oviedo 7mm x 57mm caliber rifles;

• Coast to Coast Model 184 .410 bore shotgun;

• Boito .410 bore shotgun;

• Stevens Arms Model 58 .410 bore shotgun;

• Wards Hercules Model 10 shotgun;

• Stevens Model 79 shotgun;

• Remington Model 11 shotgun;

• Black Powder .50 caliber pistol;

• Black Powder .44 caliber pistol;

• Black Powder unknown caliber pistol;

• Two Elli Pietta .44 caliber Black Powder pistols;

• Iver Johnson Model 55 .22 caliber revolver;

• Ruger LCP .380 caliber pistol;

• Walther P22 .22 caliber pistol;

• North American Arms .22 caliber pistol; and

• Various rounds of ammunition.

A review of Walker’s criminal history shows prior convictions for criminal sexual conduct and violating an order for protection.

Walker will appear in court again on Oct. 29.