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Central Florida sophomore arrested on weapons charges

A 19-year-old student at the University of Central Florida in Orlando was arrested recently when police found a fully automatic AR-15 in his car. The car was parked in the lot at his on-campus dorm, according to authorities.

Campus police launched an investigation after they got a tip that he had a device that can convert a semiautomatic rifle into an automatic one.

The student granted police the right to search his car, and once the weapon was found, he admitted that it was his, according to police.

A test fire confirmed that it was a completely automatic weapon that could fire at least 19 rounds in rapid fire by pulling the trigger just once.

Police said the student also admitted to making three of the conversion devices a couple of months ago and knew they were illegal to use.

"He knowingly and flagrantly disregarded the law and that's unacceptable to us," the campus police chief told reporters. "I don't think anyone would consider it a good idea to have a machine gun on a college campus. This isn't Afghanistan."

The man, a sophomore studying engineering, has been charged with possessing a machine gun as well as a bump-fire stock.

The campus police chief said the man had never threatened the university. He has been suspended from classes, pending a student-conduct hearing.

"We believe he's an enthusiast who put his interest in firearms above complying with the law," Metzger said.

Campus regulations allow weapons to be stored in a private vehicle provided they are "not readily accessible for immediate use."

This young man faces serious charges and will need a vigorous defense that will review whether all procedures were followed by police. His educational future and freedom both are at stake.

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