OCEAN SPRINGS, Miss. — Authorities say the discovery of a loaded handgun in a 5-year-old student’s backpack may result in criminal charges for any adult who put it there.

News outlets report an Oak Park Elementary teacher conducting a routine check of students’ backpacks Tuesday morning found the handgun, which had a safety lock.

Ocean Springs police Capt. William Jackson says authorities were told the gun was placed there while a guardian was running errands and forgotten.

Jackson says prosecutors will present the case to a grand jury, which could yield a possible criminal charge of possession of a firearm on school property. He didn’t identify anyone by name, and the gun remains in police possession.

He says copies of all reports will be turned over to Child Protective Services.

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