Mom Finds Gun In Son's Backpack. Guess What Happened Next?

(AP Photo/Marina Riker, File)

No, she didn’t accidentally shoot herself. Nor did she tuck it away in her own gun safe. Instead, when a mom discovered a handgun in 18-year old’s backpack in Bossier City, Louisiana on Friday, she called police.

Officers ran the serial number on the handgun and found that it was reported stolen.

The 18-year-old was transported to the Bossier City Police Department to be interviewed.

After being advised of his rights, the subject told investigators that he bought the gun from another individual, but did not commit the vehicle burglary when the gun was stolen.

The teen was arrested, and is now facing a felony charge of possession of a stolen firearm.

Now, we don’t have many details about this case or the teen’s background, but I’ve got to believe this was a hard call for his mom to make. That doesn’t mean, however, that it was the wrong call.

An 18-year old is old enough to legally possess a firearm, but if that teenager is still living at home then they’ve got to abide not only by the laws of the land but by the edicts of the parents who pay the rent or mortgage. As you can imagine, we’re a pro-gun household, but if my 18-year old kid bought a firearm and brought it into the house without telling me, I’d be concerned. I wouldn’t think to call the police, but that’s because none of my kids have ever been in any serious trouble or have veered off on a path towards violent crime. Still, we’d definitely be having a conversation.

I wonder if the mom in Louisiana’s been worried about her child for awhile; if this was a sign of escalating problems rather than a one-off or a first offense at violating the rules of the house. After all, she was looking in his backpack when she found the gun, which would indicate she was suspicious about something. That doesn’t necessarily mean she was looking for a firearm specifically, but I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that there’ve been some previous (or ongoing) issues with her son.

I’m also curious to know (though I doubt we’ll ever find out) if the mom questioned her son about the handgun she found in his backpack before she called police. Did she try to get answers, or was this simply the final straw?

It’s a hard thing to call the police on your child, particularly if they’re potentially facing a felony charge as a result. Looking at this situation through the lens of my own kids, I don’t think I would have picked up the phone unless I had first spoken to my child and become convinced that they were involved in some dangerous and illegal activity. But I also can’t say that the Louisiana mom overreacted here. She may very well believe that calling the police now prevented her son from being shot and killed later, or for spending decades in prison for shooting someone else.

If it’s any consolation for her, it’s likely that her son won’t actually end up serving a lengthy prison sentence because she called 911. Prosecutors are going to have to show that her son knowingly possessed a stolen gun, and even if they can they’ll probably offer him a plea bargain (as is the case in about 95% of state and federal felony charges). If this is his first offense, he’s realistically looking at probation, some community service, and maybe a short stint behind bars.

I honestly hope if this teen has been wandering down the wrong road that this will be the kick in the rear that he needs to change course. It sounds like mistakes were made, but they don’t have to cost him his future. As for mom, while I’m sure he’s salty about that phone call to police, at least he has a parent who gives a damn about him. That might not be the easiest thing for him to appreciate at the moment, but hopefully that will change with a little time and perspective.