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Gun found in 7-year-old's backpack at New York City school

New York:  A handgun was found in the backpack of a 7-year-old boy at a New York City public elementary school on Thursday, triggering a brief lockdown amid heightened concern about gun violence in U.S. schools, officials said.

New York City Police Department spokesman John Grimpel said authorities are investigating how the unloaded .22-caliber handgun ended up in the child's backpack.

Police also found an ammunition clip and a flare gun in the bag belonging to the second-grade student, Grimpel said.

Officials locked down the Wave Preparatory Elementary School, located in Queens, for an hour, the New York City Education Department said.

In December a gunman killed 20 first-graders along with six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut.

On Wednesday President Barack Obama launched the biggest U.S. gun-control push in generations, urging Congress to approve an assault weapons ban and background checks for all gun buyers to prevent mass shootings like the Newtown massacre.

© Thomson Reuters 2013
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