State Attorney to decide whether to charge student

University Police said Wednesday the State Attorney’s office will handle the case of the unidentified student who had a semiautomatic rifle in his residence hall room.

The student was not arrested when a UP officer found the weapon early Tuesday morning. It is unclear whether the student is still enrolled.

“The State’s Attorney’s office will review the circumstances and make a decision,” UP spokesman Mike Klingebiel said. “Right now, it’s just waiting time.”

UP has suggested the student be charged with a felony for possession of a weapon on school grounds. UP’s report was sent to the State Attorney on Tuesday, Klingebiel said.

There is no evidence the student planned to harm anyone or anything, Klingebiel said.

By law, it is illegal to possess a weapon of any kind on a campus.

“There’s no reason for any student to have a weapon on campus,” Klingebiel said. “Especially that weapon.”

After receiving a tip from a resident assistant, a UP officer found a Kel-Tec Sub 2000 folding rifle in a desk drawer inside the student’s room in Cypress Apartments C at 3:13 a.m. Tuesday.

The weapon was loaded with a magazine containing 9-millimeter ammunition. Forty extra bullets were also found in the desk drawer, UP said.

It is unclear to whom the gun was registered, Klingebiel said.Klingebiel said officers usually find guns on campus when dealing with traffic stops. Typically, he said, officers will find handguns or other small weapons in glove departments or under seats.

The 30-inch rifle was the most serious weapon UP has found on campus in nearly 15 years, Klingebiel said. In December 1991, the campus had to be evacuated when officers found pipe bombs in a Beta Hall bathroom.

According to Klingebiel, students accidentally packed them in their bags and instead of properly disposing them, they panicked and just left them in the bathroom.

“It’s rare to find these things,” Klingebiel said. “But it’s not unheard of.”

Mark Serbu, the president of Serbu Firearms in Tampa, said the gun found in the student’s room is typically used for general shooting or “plicking,” which means shooting objects such as cans.

“It’s just a gun to have fun with and a good gun for target practice,” he said.

It is also commonly used for home defense and is accurate from up to 150 yards away.

“You could definitely put a hole through somebody,” Serbu said.