A teacher in Newtown, Connecticut, the site of 2012’s Sandy Hook shooting, is facing up to five years in prison after being arrested for carrying a gun on school grounds.
Newtown Middle School teacher Jason Adams has a permit to carry a concealed handgun, but ran afoul of another Connecticut law that bans even legal guns from school property, unless carried by law enforcement. A fellow teacher spotted Adams with his weapon Wednesday morning and alerted school security, who quickly detained Adams until police arrived, according to the Hartford Courant.
After being arrested and processed, he was released pending an April 20 hearing, and immediately placed on leave by the Newtown School District.
No students were in school when Adams’ arrest occurred, but if any community is likely to be harsh on gun offenses, it’s Newtown. On December 14, 2012 the town saw the second-deadliest school shooting in U.S. history when Adam Lanza entered Sandy Hook Elementary School and gunned down 20 children and six staff members.
Adams faces charges of possessing a weapon on school grounds, a class D felony in the state that carries a punishment of one to five years behind bars.
“This matter is very serious and troubling,” Newtown’s school district said in a statement. “The Newtown Police Department is confident that security precautions put in place prior to the incident were instrumental in the quick and appropriate response to the event.”
While the arrest will likely draw attention to Connecticut’s gun control laws, which became much harsher following the Sandy Hook shooting, the new laws aren’t to blame for Adams’ arrest. If convicted, though, Adams will be added to the state’s post-Sandy Hook dangerous weapon offender registry. (RELATED: College Fires Nutty Sandy Hook Truther Professor)
Sandy Hook Elementary School no longer exists, as it was torn down following the shooting and replaced with a new school building.