LOWELL (CBS) — A Lowell man is facing charges after police say his son brought a gun to his school and showed it to his classmates after school last week.

Lowell Police said a parent of one of the students notified them on Tuesday, October 25 that their child witnessed the third-grade student taking the gun out of his backpack at Greenhalge Elementary School the day before.

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The boy’s father has been charged with unlawful possession of a firearm and improper storage of a firearm.

Police said the young boy thought that the weapon was an ‘airsoft’ gun, but further investigation showed that it was a real .25 caliber pistol.

Area residents are shocked.

“Third grade? My daughter is in third grade,” one resident said. “Parents shouldn’t even have this stuff.”

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They said the boy’s father handed the gun over to police during a meeting with officers and school officials. It was not loaded at the time, and the father also handed over two live rounds in a magazine.

Police said a relative of the boy was recently displaced by a fire, and the gun was taken from a box containing some of that relative’s property.

Lowell Police, Lowell Public Schools, and the Middlesex District Attorney’s Office are still investigating the incident.

Lowell Public Schools said in a statement that they contacted police immediately after learning a student may have brought a gun to school. They said they also followed up with the state Department of Children and Families, as per their policy and state law.

“Safety is always at the forefront of all decisions involving our students, families and staff,” the district said in a statement. “We are grateful for the professionalism and expedited efforts of all involved with this recent incident and commend our school leaders and the police for working together to help our schools remain a safe place to learn. As a district, we also believe that it is important to view this incident as an opportunity to educate our students and their families about securing items that could potentially pose a risk to themselves and others as well as continuing conversations with children to insure safety from home to school.”

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