May 21, 2024
Annapolis, US 73 F

No Charges For Middle Schooler With Loaded Handgun in Maryland

On January 5, 2023, the School Resource Officer at MacArthur Middle School was notified of a student who had a handgun, loaded magazine, and loose ammunition in a bag at the school.

The student is a 12-year-old.

Due to the new Juvenile Justice Reform, House Bill 459, which was voted into law, no charges were filed. A 12-year-old can no longer be charged with certain crimes, including bringing a handgun & ammunition to school. Detectives conferred with the Anne Arundel County State’s Attorney’s Office and the Ft. Meade Provost Marshal’s Office.

Since the law took effect on June 1, 2022, Anne Arundel County Police have responded to dozens of cases where juvenile suspects were located, identified, and unable to be charged. Those cases include assaults, weapons violations, intimidation, harassment, drug charges, theft, burglary, sex offenses, threats, motor vehicle thefts, animal abuse, arson, and incident exposures. In most cases, if the ofense occured on school property, the students are subject to any applicable school disciplinary codes. Absent that, they are released to their parent or guardian. The Anne Arundel County Police will provide resources to the suspect including counseling or mentorship; but there is no way to ensure that any of the resources are utilized.

Since June 1, 2022 through December 28, 2022, the following incidents have resulted in the suspects not being charged due to their age.

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