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Students involved in on-campus gun sale may only get probation

3 years ago March 27, 2012 Mar 27, 2012 Tuesday, March 27 2012 Tuesday, March 27, 2012 9:22:18 PM CDT in News
Source: WBRZ
By: Stephanie Ryan

SCOTLANDVILLE-- Scotlandville Magnet High School is where deputies say an illegal gun buy went down.  But even though it is a federal crime, the folks who participated may only get probation.

A 15-year-old sophomore sold a .22-caliber handgun to a 15-year-old freshman inside the school before noon on Tuesday, according to deputies on a special task force.  They said an anonymous student tipped off school leaders, who found the gun in the waistband of the freshman's pants.  Both teens were booked into a juvenile detention center on a charge of illegal possession of a handgun on school property.  A third student, who is 16, was also booked on the same charge.  Deputies said that teen supplied the money for the gun sale.

Surprisingly, all three may only face probation for the offense.

District Attorney Hillar Moore said teens account for 20 to 30 percent of all gun crimes, but limited bed space in juvenile facilities forces lax punishments.  There just isn't enough money to pay for more room.

"Most of the time, it's a probated sentence," Moore said.  Moore urges parents to police their own homes; he believes that would cut down on gun crimes.

"It's frustrating to see that kids have guns and they're going unnoticed in homes and being brought to school," Moore said.

But some parents are frustrated by the "system."

"When we came along, my parents could whoop me," Joseph Plummer said.  "Now, if a parent touches a child, the child picks up the phone, and the parent is picked up for child abuse-- how does that work?"

A spokesperson for the East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff's Office said it is "unclear" where the game came from, but said it was not reported missing.  She would not say if the serial number on the gun is still legible.

ATF agents use that serial number to track gun sales, and promised News 2 they would track down where this gun came from.  That is not an easy task, however, because gun owners are only required to fill out paperwork on guns if they buy or sell a gun from a licensed gun dealer.  Anyone can buy a gun from anybody else on the street legally, according to the agent.

It leaves students scared.

"I'm pretty scared to die, and I'm pretty sure everyone else is," one student told News 2.

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