SLO police arrest teen for posting airsoft gun photos

March 2, 2016

ToygunsPolice arrested a San Luis Obispo High School student who posted photos on Facebook of himself holding airsoft guns while dressed in military attire. The teen is reportedly charged with making a criminal threat. [Tribune]

The SLO High student posted the photos on his personal Facebook account and shared them with a small group of friends, police Lt. Jeff Smith said. The student made no specific threat in the Facebook posts, but he made some references that were concerning, Smith said.

When questioned by police, the teen admitted he made a mistake but said the photos were playful banter with friends who understood he was joking.

A law enforcement officer saw the photos on Friday and notified SLO High’s school resource officer. The student was taken into custody toward the end of the school day on Friday. He was then taken to Juvenile Hall.

Smith said airsoft weapons can look realistic but are not threatening. Airsoft guns fire plastic pellets.

Officers also determined it was not unusual for a student to have military attire, Smith said.

The district attorney’s office will review the case and will reportedly determine whether the criminal threats charge is a misdemeanor or a felony.


Arrest for threats at San Luis Obispo High School

WHAT: Arrest for Criminal Threats

WHERE: San Luis Obispo High School

WHEN: February 26, 2016 at approximately 1:45 PM

DEPARTMENT CONTACT: Captain Staley 781-7142

On February 26, 2016 the San Luis Obispo Police Department School Resource Officer (SRO) was contacted by the Probation Department and given information regarding threatening statements and photos posted on Facebook. The pictures were immediately emailed to the SRO to review the content. One of the photos depicted a male San Luis Obispo High School student dressed in a trench coat, holding what appeared to be a weapon similar to a Mac 10 machine gun and a handgun in his waistband. All the weapons pictured in the Facebook posts appeared to be real guns.

One of the pictures had a written reference of “Columbine of Duty 2”. Another picture depicted the side of AR-15 rifle with the selector lever pointing toward semi-auto that stated “Don’t come to school tomorrow”. Additionally there were comments under the post which stated, “if ur gonna shoot up the school just do it already” with the student stating “Fu** you… I’ll do it when im ready”. Several other concerning photos were also discovered.

After reviewing this information the SRO immediately contacted high school administrators to inform them of the Facebook posts he received. School administrators and the San Luis Obispo Police Department were very concerned with the threatening nature of the pictures and references made within the posts. It was confirmed that the student who posted the images and was pictured holding the weapons was currently at school. Officers responded to the high school, and along with school administrators removed the student from his class and the campus.

During the investigation the suspect admitted to posting the information seen by the SRO. A search of his residence revealed many of the weapons pictured were actually “Air Soft” guns, which are replica firearms that fire plastic BB’s. In addition to the Air Soft guns several real guns were located and seized for safe keeping. The student was arrested for making Criminal Threats, PC 422, and taken to the San Luis Obispo County Juvenile Services Center and booked into custody. Currently this is an ongoing investigation which may result in additional charges.


“…In addition to the Air Soft guns several real guns were located and seized for safe keeping…”

You can bet his Mom/Dad will never see their firearms again. I wonder if they had a search warrant?


Of course they did.. the post gave them probable cause to easily get an arrest warrant and a search warrant.


What is this world coming to? Once upon a time this would be a conversation about what is appropriate behavior for teenagers, a learning opportunity. But now everyone is so afraid of not doing something that kids are arrested all with the cooperation of the school system whose job it is to educate. Well great lesson the kids have learned here….don’t trust the police…don’t trust the school system, given half a chance they will frick you over!


Well, it’s true, so the earlier the students learn that, the better off they will be.


What is this world coming to? Good question, but once upon a time you could joke about high jacking when standing in line at the airport, but not anymore, lets hope this kid learns this lesson, many don’t.


It is known as a police state…


It wasn’t the picture that got him in trouble…it was the comments associated with the pictures. Kid is an idiot for saying those things, harmless though the intent might have been. Kind of like using the word :”bomb” in ANY context when boarding a plane.

The second lesson to be learned here is that Facebook is a pathetic place to waste your time. You get in trouble for what you post on fb? Oh well, your fault. Shouldn’t have been posting stuff on that pathetic site anyway.


I have a picture of me holding an airsoft gun on my facebook. Will I be arrested too? SLOPD is so pathetic! They can NEVER catch a criminal, but they ALWAYS seem to find the dumbest shit like this and blow it way out of proportion. What is the officer doing looking at teenage boy’s facebook pages anyway? That’s not what our tax dollars pay you to do!! Bad cop, no donut!


With all the school shootings going on across the nation all the time, I’m guessing the SLO PD is just being cautious. I’d personally rather the police look into it rather than turn the other way and then have innocent lives lost. There have just been way too many kids killed in school settings.


“Just being cautious”, huh?

How about we imbed tracking chips into every child at the beginning of every school year?

How about we send cops to each students how for a quick little “security review” of their parents and their homes?

Why not make non-weapon military regalia illegal for anyone under 18?

Why not make airsoft illegal in California?

Why not make it legal for cops to pull over drivers that appear to be under 18 for “caution” checks?

Why not implement “stop and frisk” in SLO for anyone who appears to be under 18?

SLO IS becoming a damned police state.


Obviously since you posted the story above, you know the police were acting on the side of caution and taking this seriously.


Look into it, yes. But they are charging him, and he’s already been to jail, er “gladiator school”. That’s being punished. Maybe he deserved it, we have no idea what he actually wrote/said.


Basically, he used the phrase (among others) “Columbine 2016” – which is quite stupid in our current mental state; that’s likely what triggered the school-to-police reporting.

What is sad is the teen really did have hopes on joining the military, and now this over-reaction to a tragically stupid mistake will shatter those dreams.

On the one hand, we’re so numbing ourselves to violence and toleration of horrific acts, yet we’re also hyper-sensitive to pre-programmed triggers (i.e. guns). It’s quite an interesting predicament.


We’re not numbing ourselves, we’re becoming over-sensitized.

Ask your average Joe, is violent crime increasing, or decreasing? Most people think it’s going up, but in reality, it’s been going down for decades. Statistically, we live in a much safer world than our grandparents did.

Perceptions can be easily manipulated, and are rarely reality anyway.


A nation that criminalizes toy guns will not resist the Caliphate.


I don’t think we have all the facts.

If the student is innocent, then the parents would be showing the pictures to the media. Maybe someone who had access to them should screen shot them into a comment on Cal Coast.

Too many What Ifs at this stage.

Was the page open to the public or did another student turn him in because despite the kid thinking it was fun and games, others were scared. That’s a What If.