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Police chief revokes gun license of substitute teacher who brought bullets into pre-K classroom

Millbury police Chief Donald Desorcy said Tuesday he revoked the gun license of a substitute teacher who brought 9mm ammunition clips into the classroom and spilled some bullets onto the floor at a town elementary school — where the students were 3 and 4 years old.

Desorcy declined to release the man’s name because no criminal charges were filed against him for bringing the bullets into the pre-K classroom at the Elmwood Street Elementary School last Thursday, when bullets bounced onto the floor while the children were in class.

Desorcy said school officials quickly alerted his officers about the ammunition incident last Thursday and spoke with the 22-year-old man that day. Desorcy said he decided to revoke the man’s license to carry, concluding that anyone choosing to bring ammunition into a school can no longer be considered legally suitable to have access to firearms and ammunition.

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“There is no way he didn’t go to work without knowing he had loaded clips in his pocket,’’ the chief said in a telephone interview. “When they are loaded, they are heavy. In fact, they are actually uncomfortable.”

Under Massachusetts law, police chiefs in each community issue licenses to carry once they conclude the applicant is “suitable” to purchase handguns, shotguns, rifles, and ammunition for the weapons. Police chiefs also have the right to revoke a license to carry, and that decision is reviewed by a district court judge.

Desorcy said once an applicant is found suitable by his department, he issues the license to carry, which authorizes the holder to buy as many firearms and as much ammunition as they want.

“I am pretty free in giving them out if they are qualified,’’ the chief said. “But I have a very short leash.”

After he decided to revoke the man’s license to carry, police went to the home the man shares with his parents in order to take custody of the weapons because he no longer had the right under state law to possess them, the chief said.

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In the house, police discovered a small arsenal — six firearms and a dozen rifles and shotguns. State law does not limit the number of firearms one can own, nor does it cap the amount of ammunition one has available to them.

But, Desorcy said, state law does require a gun owner to safely store their weapons inside the home. Now, Desorcy said, his officers are moving to file criminal charges against him because police allegedly discovered he was improperly storing some of the firearms, including one pistol stuffed underneath a pillow.

“He had loaded firearms all over the place, not properly secured,’’ the chief said.

Desorcy said he expects the man will be summoned into court at a future date once his department obtains the criminal complaints in Worcester District Court.


John R. Ellement can be reached at ellement@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @JREbosglobe.