By Cathy Womble
Lake Okeechobee News
OKEECHOBEE -- On Thursday, Dec. 2, a concerned Seminole Elementary School student told one of his teachers another student was carrying a gun.
That student was approached by a teacher and then searched by a peer staff member who was also present. A BB gun was reportedly found in his waistband. This BB gun was remarkably realistic, having the same look and function as a real handgun states an Okeechobee County Sheriff's Office press release.
The gun was taken into evidence, and the child was arrested and charged with carrying a concealed weapon without a permit.
"Although there was never any active threat made to anyone on campus, in this case, we want to acknowledge the bravery of the student who came forward in this situation, doing the right thing by alerting an adult, and the teacher, and the peer staff member for their quick actions," stated the OCSO press release.
Because the charge is a misdemeanor, the Seminole Elementary School student has not been identified.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission has reports of about four deaths per year caused by BB guns or pellet rifles. Many do not realize BB guns, especially high velocity guns, can cause death, the CPSC warns. Therefore, the CPSC warns that children under age 16 should never use high-velocity BB or pellet guns. Like firearms, these guns should never be aimed at another person.
In Okeechobee County, there have been at least two deaths attributed to the use of BB guns in the past 35 years. In one case, a woman was jailed after fatally shooting her father with a BB gun. In another case, a child was killed in a tragic accident involving another child.