RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – Local activists are voicing their concerns after guns were brought into several schools across central North Carolina in the last couple of weeks, including two young students who brought weapons into their elementary schools.
On Monday, Rocky Mount police announced the arrest of Anivel Puddy after his 7-year-old nephew brought a gun to Winstead Avenue Elementary School on Friday. Police say the .40-caliber gun that was brought into the building belongs to Puddy.
No one was hurt in the incident, and police say there was not a danger to students and staff.
“It’s actually infuriating for me, because it’s not that hard to lock up your weapon,” said Madhavi Krevat, a local gun violence prevention activist.
The incident in Nash County last Friday happened the same day a BB gun was found in a bathroom at Wakefield High School in Raleigh.
Nearly two weeks ago, another young student brought a loaded gun into Lead Mine Elementary School, with Raleigh police quickly arresting a woman in connection with that incident.
“There needs to be a lot of safe storage education within the school systems, because of how much it’s happening,” said Leah Krevat, who has joined her mother as an activist.
Madhavi used to work with Moms Demand Action and Be SMART, an organization that advocates for responsible gun ownership around children.
“There’s so many kids in this country and in this state that live in a house where the weapon is unsecured, and sometimes it’s loaded, so they can easily get a hold of it and harm themselves, or harm others,” she said.
She’s also urging adults to be more vigilant about what their students are bringing to school, “When my kids were in school, not that I checked their backpacks every day, but I knew what was in them, and I made sure. I would be putting the lunches in, so I could see what was inside.”
Krevat also mentioned the NC S.A.F.E. Initiative, which began in June in an effort to promote the safe storage of firearms in an effort to cut down on gun deaths among children and thefts.
In both elementary school incidents, the gun brought into school was reported to staff by a fellow student, a move that’s been praised by law enforcement and school officials.