A proliferation of crowd shootings, not the least of which was the Newtown school tragedy, has elevated the issue of gun use and availability to new heights. Virginia Beach is not immune from the effects. We have no specific information regarding whether there's been an increase in the filing of weapons crimes charges in the area, but it's clear that gun issues are top of mind.
The latest evidence of this happened earlier this week outside a Virginia Beach elementary school. Officials at the school have confirmed that a fourth-grade student had brought a BB gun to the bus stop. Apparently, parents must have alerted the school as the bus was on its way to the school because no action was taken until the child stepped off the bus.
According to a statement distributed to all parents by the school's principal, the student was immediately detained upon the bus' arrival. A check of the student's backpack turned up the gun and the principal says "appropriate disciplinary action" was taken right away. The nature of that action hasn't been discussed.
Fortunately, the BB gun in this instance was not loaded. There is no indication that the student intended to use it for any untoward purpose. School officials are using the incident to reinforce for parents that there are significant consequences for bringing weapons to school, even those that are toys and just look like real guns. They're asking parents to take the initiative to speak to their children about the issue in the context of school safety.
Weapons charges may not be filed in this case. When they are, they are often filed in connection with other criminal charges. They are serious and need to be dealt with directly and strongly to obtain the best possible outcome for the person charged. Anyone facing such charges should get in touch with an attorney right away to discuss their options for protecting their rights.
Source: WTKR-TV, "Virginia Beach fourth-grader found with unloaded BB gun," March 21, 2013
- Readers wishing to learn more about our practice in the area of criminal law can do so by visiting our Virginia Beach federal charges page.