In the span of just two days, there were three separate incidents involving Tennessee students bringing guns onto school campuses.

“These incidents underscore the problem we have with young people in Tennessee and access to guns,” said Beth Joslin Roth, policy director for The Safe Tennessee Project.  “Tennessee is fourth in the nation for firearm mortality in the 0-19 age group. Our state needs to work with community groups to get to the bottom of why kids feel like they need to bring guns to school. We also need to address the hundreds of guns being stolen out of cars across the state, many of which are unlocked, since we know that far too often, those guns end up in the hands of young people.”

Two of the incidents occurred in the Nashville area. So far this year, according to MNPD, 510 guns have been stolen from vehicles. At least 107 of those vehicles were unlocked. Between September 1st and 7th alone, 19 guns were stolen from cars, six of which were unlocked. Last year, 639 guns were stolen from vehicles in Nashville.

Gun death rates for young people in Tennessee increased 53 percent between 2007 and 2017.

Hunters Lane High School, Nashville – Wednesday
Metro Nashville Police reported that a tip led school staff to search a car on campus where they located a loaded 9-mm handgun in a backpack in the trunk. Two 16-year-olds, both 11th graders, were charged with unlawful possession of a handgun on school property.

LEAD Neely’s Bend Middle School, Nashville – Wednesday
A teacher noticed two two eighth-graders passing a backpack back and forth between them during class. She took the backpack and located a .40 caliber handgun inside. Two .40 caliber bullets were also recovered. The two 13-year-olds were charged with unlawful possession of a gun on school property.

Hixson High School, Hixson – Thursday
Acting on a tip, a school resource officer located a student in possession of a loaded handgun. The student was charged with carrying a dangerous weapon on school grounds.