LANCASTER COUNTY, Pa. (WHTM) — An elementary school student in Lancaster County is facing charges. Manheim Township Police state that the student was found with a gun on Wednesday.

Now, there are more questions about how the student came into possession of the weapon and how the responsibility under Pennsylvania Law is to safeguard it.

Similar scenes have played out at schools across the country. While they are rare in central Pennsylvania, they do happen.

“The school did a good job, they noticed abnormalities in behavior and really acted on that, and found all the contraband,” Sargeant Barry Waltz with the Manheim Township Police said.

Police say school officials found a firearm along with marijuana in a student’s backpack at the E.R Martin Elementary School in Lancaster on Wednesday, March 22. What they are still trying to figure out is how the young child got the gun, which police say was stolen back in 2022.

“Did the parent leave the gun on the dining room table and the kid picked it up and took it to school? Or did the kid get it through some nefarious activity or a buddy’s house,” Waltz said.

But, what does Pennsylvania law say about all of this? Who is responsible for the safe storing of firearms? Sargeant Waltz states that no such laws exist.

“In a perfect world anybody that is responsible enough to own a firearm is also responsible enough to understand safekeeping,” Sargeant Waltz said.

Waltz states while this may be true, there are workarounds.

“There are enough laws on the books if someone was careless or reckless or negligent there are other things they could be charged with,” Sargeant Waltz said.

Waltz states it can be anything from recklessly endangering another person to the sale or lease of weapons.

Manheim Township Police said they are still investigating. For now, the student is being detained at the Lancaster County Youth Intervention Center.