Week after Florida massacre, weapons remain daunting issue for US schools

As the nation prepared to mark one week since a massacre at a Florida high school took 17 lives, schools and universities across the country continued grappling with potential threats.

In St. Louis, police at Washington University on Tuesday evening confiscated an AR-15 semi-automatic rifle and a handgun from a fraternity member.

Chancellor Mark S. Wrighton said there was no active threat, but the finding was at odds with university policy, which strictly prohibits the “possession, storage or use of firearms, knives, ammunition and other dangerous weapons” on all university property, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported.   

According to Wrighton, the rifle was found during a search of the Phi Dela Theta fraternity house and a handgun was found in a vehicle, both of which belonged to the same student. Details on how administrators were tipped off have not been revealed.

Per policy regulations, the student was temporarily suspended and removed from campus "pending formal adjudication.”

Also Tuesday, a 20-year-old man in Toledo, Ohio, was arrested for allegedly threatening on social media to shoot up a high school, the Toledo Blade reported.  

Authorities in Clarksburg, Md., found an AR-15 rifle Tuesday in the home of a high school student, the Baltimore Sun reported. Alwin Chen, 18, reportedly told police he had brought the guns to school for protection against students who had bullied and harassed him. Chen was charged with possession of a handgun.

At Simon Kenton Elementary School in Springfield, Ohio, authorities found a gun Tuesday in the backpack of an 8-year-old student, the Dayton Daily News reported.

A teacher reportedly found the gun, while putting homework in the student’s backpack. The student told police that he brought the gun to school because he thought another student was going to hurt him.

Meanwhile, in North Carolina, House Speaker Tim Moore announced plans to form a school safety committee that will consider allowing teachers in the state to be armed in the classroom, the Raleigh News & Observer reported.

Moore and the two committee co-chairmen, Reps. David Lewis and John Torbett, said the group also will review school disciplinary practices, the physical safety of school buildings and mental health services, the newspaper reported.


Bradford Betz is an editor for Fox News. Follow him on Twitter @bradford_betz.