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      Gun found at Pee Dee Elementary School

      Pee Dee Elementary school in Horry County. / Whitney Gramling

      Horry County Police were called to Pee Dee Elementary school Friday afternoon after a gun was found in a student's book bag. Horry County Schools spokesman Teal Britton says a male student brought it to school and showed it to at least one of his classmates.

      Britton says just before 2:00 p.m., a third grade student told an assistant principal that a fifth grader showed off a gun earlier in the school day.

      School officials then detained the child and his belongings.

      Britton says the gun was a pre-Civil War era weapon, was unloaded, and needed three different mechanisms to operate.

      There was no ammunition in the book bag.

      Britton says parents should be appreciative of their response, "the plan that they had worked. They're a little nervous and jittery of course but the plan that they have worked today and it would have worked earlier in the day if we were fortunate enough to have it reported earlier."

      Because of the timing of this incident, school officials were still working on having an automated message sent to parents as of about 4:30 Friday afternoon.

      School officials encourage parents to lock up the guns that they have at home and talk with their children about the consequences of bringing a gun to school.

      Britton also adds, "the first line of our best defense in any case is our children having the courage to tell when they see things, they hear things that make them uncomfortable and rather than wait and wonder have the courage to tell."

      As part of standard procedure the student is suspended pending a disciplinary hearing.

      The punishment could range from expulsion to being reassigned to the alternative school.

      No word yet on whether Horry County Police will charge the boy.