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Charlotte Observer: Gun Found In Rowan School; 2 Charged

Two 13-year-old boys face charges and a long-term suspension after authorities say a handgun and a loaded ammunition clip were found on one student at a Rowan County Middle School on Monday. The Rowan County Sheriff's Office says the gun was found on a male student at Charles C. Erwin Middle School, near the town of Granite Quarry in the eastern part of the county. Deputies say that, based on conversations with the parents, one of the students found a hidden lockbox key Sunday night at his home and used the key to open the box and take the gun. According to authorities, the boy then brought the gun to school Monday in his book bag. Sometime Monday morning, deputies say, the boy showed the gun to another 13-year-old boy. A short time later, the student suspected of having brought the gun to school noticed that the weapon and a magazine loaded with six rounds, was missing. At that point, the student went to school administrators and reported the gun had been taken. Deputies say Assistant Principal Carl Snider found the second student and discovered the gun and the magazine in that student's possession. "No school lockdown was ordered, since the weapon was immediately seized," said John Sifford, a spokesman for the sheriff's office. Authorities say the student suspected of bringing the gun to school will be charged with larceny of a firearm; possession of a firearm on school grounds; and carrying a concealed weapon. The second student is being charged with possession of a stolen firearm; possession of a firearm on school grounds; and carrying a concealed weapon. School officials told deputies they will recommend 365-day suspensions for each student.