By Don Nelson

Twisp Police Chief Paul Budrow will host an informal community discussion about gun ownership, safety, applicable laws and appropriate training next Wednesday (April 27) at 6 p.m. at the Methow Valley Senior Center.

Budrow said the meeting was prompted by community discussions related to a recent incident at Methow Valley Elementary School — where a sixth-grade student brought an air gun to school in a backpack — and by other conversations he has had in the community.

The meeting is open to everyone in the Methow Valley, the chief said.

Budrow said another minor incident occurred at the elementary school on Tuesday morning (April 19). A kindergarten student found half-a-dozen spent shell casings alongside a road, picked them up and put them in their backpack, Budrow said. At the school, the student’s teacher was putting something into the kindergartner’s backpack and noticed the shells, Budrow said.

The teacher notified Principal Bob Winters, who called Budrow, the chief said. Budrow went to the school and collected the shell casings. The student’s parents were notified, and a general announcement about the incident was expected to be released, Budrow said. The student remained in school.

Budrow said Tuesday that parents should “please remember to check your kids’ stuff” before they go to school.

Budrow said he wants to have a “common sense” discussion about gun ownership and related issues. “You have the right to own firearms, but you need to take care,” said Budrow, who has taught firearm safety to other police officers.

The Senior Center is adjacent to the Methow Valley Community Center on Highway 20 in Twisp. For more information, call the Twisp Police Department at 997-6112.