FRANKLIN (Somerset) – For the second time in as many months, a township teenager has been charged with bringing a loaded handgun to school.

A 17-year-old student attending the Alternative School at Franklin Middle School was arrested Thursday at the building after school officials got word that he had a weapon and drugs in class.

After police were called about 3:15 p.m., detectives obtained a search warrant to search the student’s bag, where they found a loaded 9mm semi-automatic handgun. They said they also found drug paraphernalia on him.

He was charged with second-degree unlawful possession of a weapon, fourth-degree possession of a weapon by a person under 21, and a disorderly persons offense of possessing paraphernalia.

The Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office did not publicly name the student because he is a minor.

Last month, a 17-year-old was arrested and charged with bringing a loaded 9 mm handgun in his backpack to Franklin High School.

Threats against the school were not made in either case, but the arrests come amid heightened security and sensitivity following the Feb. 14 massacre at a Florida high school.

Franklin, one of the largest districts in Somerset County, had the most reports of violence in the county, according the state's most recent data. The district's 14 weapons incidents was also the highest in the county in 2015-16.

Sergio Bichao is deputy digital editor at New Jersey 101.5. Send him news tips: Call 609-359-5348 or email

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