It was an alarming situation at the Northwest Technical Center in St. Albans Wednesday. A 17-year-old allegedly brought a pistol, rifle, shotguns, stun guns, a machete, knives and ammunition to the campus in his car. But police investigated and found no proof that he planned to use them and the Franklin County prosecutor says that means he didn't break any state laws.
"If you can't prove that somebody intended to injure somebody else, simply the mere presence of weapons in a vehicle on school property does not constitute a violation of Vermont law," St. Albans Police Chief Gary Taylor said.
It comes as upsetting news to gun safety advocates.
"It should be a more straightforward relationship between this is irresponsible behavior and therefore there is a consequence," said Ann Braden, a lead organizer of Gun Sense Vermont.
Braden says guns don't belong on school grounds and lawmakers need to consider new legislation to address the issue, including safe storage of firearms.
"We have great hunting laws in the state and we can use them as a model to make sure we have good laws to protect our public safety and our communities, too," Braden said.
Evan Hughes is the vice president of the Vermont Federation of Sportsmen and says he is not in favor of any new restrictions around guns on school grounds.
"No, in Vermont schools own considerable amounts of property where people hunt and travel and people are regularly dropping off their kids with guns in their cars with no intent to use them." Hughes said. "Let the school deal with it. It's a school issue."
What remains unclear is whether or not the student could face federal charges. WCAX reached out to U.S. Attorney Tris Coffin Friday; he declined to comment on the situation.
The Franklin County Supervisory Union Superintendent says her team has taken disciplinary action, but declined to share any details.
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