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A 19 Year Old Was Arrested For Having Illegal Weapon In His Car At UCF & Students Opened Up About Gun Violence Anxiety

A 19-year-old UCF student was arrested on Wednesday (Jan 30) after an anonymous tip led campus police to a fully automatic AR-15 in his car along with an illegal bump stock.

In a statement, UCFPD said they found “an illegally-modified weapon and other items that violated state law and university policy” in Max Bennett Chambers’ car but noted that he “expressed no direct threat to the university community.”

“However, his disregard for firearms laws was concerning—and ultimately illegal—especially in this day and age,” the statement added, as bump stocks (like those outfitted on Chambers’ AR-15) were made illegal in Florida as of October 2018.

An AR-15 is a lightweight semi-automatic rifle based on the Armalite AR-15 design. Chambers’ gun was reportedly modified with drop-in auto sears, which can be used to turn a semiautomatic rifle into an automatic one. It was found alongside a bump stock, which replaces a rifle’s standard stock and can also be used to modify a gun from semiautomatic to automatic.

“It’s scary to know someone had a gun not too far from where I have classes,” Jarlisa Martinez, a UCF student in the area at the time of the arrest said. “My feeling of safety shouldn’t be jeopardized because someone thinks it’s okay to have that in their car, or anywhere. I’m glad that he was caught with it before something bad might have happened, and I hope in the future we won’t have to worry about feeling safe on a college campus anymore.”

This isn’t the first scare UCF’s campus has had in recent memory. On March 18, 2013, James Oliver Seevakumaran reportedly planned an attack, strategically placing firearms and explosives around Tower 1 with plans to pull the fire alarm and open fire on students. However, his roommate was able to alert police and the would-be shooter died by suicide before the attack.

Following Chambers’ arrest, Founder of March For Our Lives Orlando Trevor Wild told Her Campus that the incident highlights how fear of gun violence is “always present.”

“As an alumnus of Stoneman Douglas, gun violence has been part of my mind every day. Like lots of people my age, the thought of a shooter walking into my lecture hall with a gun like the one that was found today is always present,” Wild said. “I respect the second amendment, and don’t want to be painted as ‘another gun grabbing liberal,’ but we have to ask ourselves—how many more people need to die before we keep guns out of the hands of people who should not have them?”

If you witness or experience anything concerning, contact UCFPD  through CrimeLine (1-800-423- TIPS), via 911, or call 407-823-5555 for a non-emergency.

This piece has been syndicated from Her Campus UCF. You can join a chapter at your school (or start your own!).

Chelsea Velez is a senior majoring in journalism and double-minoring in creative writing & sociology. She spends most of her time writing, drinking coffee, and running around finding the latest story. She plans to become a well-known writer in whatever form that may be and inspire others through her content creation.
Katherine (or Katie) is the News Editor and resident witch at Her Campus. She first fell in love with journalism while attending SUNY New Paltz ('14). Since then, she has worked on the staffs at MTV News and Bustle writing about politics, intersectional social issues and more before serving as staff researcher at Lady Parts Justice League. Her work has been published in Women's Health, the Daily Dot, Public Radio International (PRI) and WNYC and she's been a regular panelist on a few podcasts (mostly screaming about repro rights.)  She is a Libra with a Taurus moon and a Scorpio ascendant, which either means nothing or everything. She loves strong diner coffee, reading tarot for strangers at the bar and watching the same three horror movie documentaries. She lives in the Hudson Valley with too many animals.