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January 26, 2023
A 17-year-old high school student in southern California was arrested with a ghost gun over the weekend after allegedly threatening to shoot “up a school” and “kids” on social media, the Menifee Police Department said.
A “ghost gun” is a privately assembled firearm that is untraceable, police said. Ghost guns are typically either sold together in a kit or separately, to create a fully functioning firearm.
The kits can often be purchased without a background check and do not have serial numbers, making them accessible to people who are legally prohibited from purchasing firearms, including minors, according to the police department.
The teen, who is a senior at Heritage High School, was also said to be harassing other students, according to the police, though he didn’t make threats against any specific school.
Detectives arrested the 17-year-old as he was returning home on Saturday and found a ghost gun and a pair of brass knuckles in his possession.
The suspect, who was not named, was booked into the Riverside County Juvenile Hall on several charges, including making criminal threats, possession of brass knuckles and possession of an unregistered firearm.
The Perris Union School District was immediately notified and assisted detectives in the investigation, police said.
“All threats, whether specific, implied or otherwise, that cause fear in our community will not be tolerated,” the police department said in a statement. “MPD is committed to using all available resources to ensure we hold the person(s) responsible for such threats accountable for their actions. These threats are disruptive to our school sites and require many hours of law enforcement investigation.”
The school also released a statement on their Facebook page. “Parents and guardians, please take the time to talk with your students about the appropriate use of social media,” Heritage High School said Sunday on Facebook. “All threats of violence are taken seriously, and we will continue to work diligently with our law enforcement partners to pursue any person of interest.”
The Biden administration announced a crackdown on ghost guns earlier this year, saying that they will now be treated like traditional firearms in the United States.
ARTICLE: PAUL MURDOCH
MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: NBC NEWS