QUEENS, NEW YORK (BTSNews) — A seven year-old boy caused chaos and a building-wide lockdown Thursday morning when he brought a .22 caliber handgun, ammunition and a flare gun to his New York City school.
Police investigators say the boy’s 21 year-old brother had placed the guns and ammunition in the boy’s book bag prior to the start of the school day. After the seven year-old’s mother returned home from dropping him off at the Wave Preparatory School in the Far Rockaway, Queens neighborhood of New York City, the older son told her that he had placed the weapons in the younger boy’s book bag.
By then, the seven year-old had removed the handgun from the book bag, placed it in his pocket and had threated to shoot another student, according to one child witness.
Initially, the mother returned to the school on the pretext of retrieving her son for a dental appointment. However, when the seven year-old told his mother that he had given the handgun to a class friend, she reported the guns to the school principal.
Concerned about a potential shooting in the school, the principal placed the school building on lockdown. As students remained hidden in their classrooms, police recovered the seven year-old’s book bag with the handgun and ammunition inside. Police also recovered the flare gun, but would not specify who had it or where it was found.
Police have detained and questioned the seven year-old and his mother, and are looking for the 21 year-old brother, who has a criminal record and whom investigators believe is the owner of the weapons.
This incident occurred just one day after New York State’s passage of the nation’s toughest gun control laws. The new gun laws ban all assault style weapons and magazines capable of holding more than seven rounds. The gun laws also impose tight restrictions designed to prevent the mentally ill from acquiring guns of any kind. Nevertheless, gun rights and Second Amendment advocates criticize New York’s tough gun laws as unrealistic and unworkable.
In 2012, Wave Preparatory School replaced P.S. 215, which had been closed for persistent academic failure. The school’s neighborhood has the dubious distinction of being historically “saturated with firearms” and the most crime-ridden area in New York City.
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