Although the Second Amendment grants Americans the right to bear arms, weapons possession is never allowed on school grounds in Pennsylvania. However, a 17-year-old boy is accused of attempting to bring a firearm into his school in Philadelphia on March 11. He will now face weapons charges.
At least initially, these charges will be handled by a juvenile court; however, it is not clear whether the teen will eventually wind up facing prison time in an adult court.
Security workers allegedly found the gun when the boy went through a routine screening at De La Salle in Towne, a Catholic high school for troubled youth. Reportedly, when the boy went through the metal detector, the alarm sounded and he was searched. Authorities claim that they found a loaded .22 caliber handgun in the boy's pocket. Police came to the school and took the boy into custody.
It is unknown why the boy brought the gun to school. This was his first time he had been in trouble at the school, and he cooperated with police. He faces charges that include bringing a gun onto school grounds and violating the Uniform Firearms Act.
This year has been a busy one so far regarding weapons incidents in the Philadelphia area. A 21-year-old woman was recently arrested for carrying a gun in a diaper bag while on the South Philadelphia High School campus. Authorities then recovered weapons from two 7-year-olds at two other schools.
Laws regarding weapons possession vary by state. Some states are more lenient than others and allow people to openly carry handguns as long as they meet certain restrictions. Pennsylvania gun laws prohibit anyone under age 18 to be in possession of a gun. In addition, firearms are prohibited on or near school premises. Anyone who violates this rule can be charged with a misdemeanor.
Source: Philly.com, "Teenager caught with gun at school for troubled youth," Solomon Leach, March 12, 2013