Wellsville Chief of Police clarifies charges and addresses social media reaction
From Chief Timothy O’Grady,
The facts of the matter are:
• Trenton Jefferds is a student at Wellsville Secondary School.
• He parks his vehicle in a parking lot owned by the Village but leased or under the School’s control.
• He took a .223 rifle to the school parking lot and left it in plain view inside the vehicle.
• A school administrator saw the rifle in the vehicle.
• The vehicle was unlocked.
• There was multiple boxes of ammunition and a loaded 10 round magazine in the rifle.
• It is against the law to have a firearm on school grounds. It is also against the law to possess an assault rifle that is not compliant with NYS law.
265.01-a Criminal possession of a weapon on school grounds.
A person is guilty of criminal possession of a weapon on school
grounds when he or she knowingly has in his or her possession a rifle,
shotgun, or firearm in or upon a building or grounds, used for
educational purposes, of any school, college, or university.
265.02 Criminal possession of a weapon in the third degree.
A person is guilty of criminal possession of a weapon in the third degree when:
(7) Such person possesses an assault weapon.
NYS Law also requires that if you are going to leave your gun unattended in your vehicle, it must be locked in a fire, impact, and tamper resistant storage container and hidden from view. It is also illegal to hunt with any semi-automatic firearm with a capacity to hold more than 6 rounds.
To the ‘What about? What if ?’
I have had some the Facebook gossip forwarded to me as I’m not a big supporter of social media for many reasons. Police department’s don’t make the laws but we have to enforce them. It is the school’s, and the police department’s job to keep students safe. The reason the school administrator was in the parking lot and looking in vehicles was to find a student who was absent from school and sleeping in the parking lot. I do not know Mr. Jefferds personally. I do not know what the thought process was that made him think it was a good idea to bring an assault rifle to school grounds in today’s world. Apparently, many students knew the rifle was in the vehicle. Maybe Mr. Jefferds had no ill intentions yesterday but who’s to say any of the other students did. We can “What if” the situation forever.
God forbid if something sinister did happen yesterday. The Facebook conversation would be, “The police should’ve have known there was a rifle in the car and they should’ve done something.”
The reality is that this is no longer the 1970’s and 80’s. My generation did not grow up with school shootings occurring on a routine basis. I hope this sheds some light on the facts and helps quell the Facebook rumor mill.