YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) — Reports said police found a loaded AR-15 Wednesday during a traffic stop on the West Side.
Lawrence Vega, 18, was booked into the Mahoning County Jail on charges of weapons under disability and improper handling of a firearm in a motor vehicle. He also has a warrant from Kent State University Police for disorderly conduct.
Vega was a backseat passenger in a car pulled over at about 12:45 p.m. for running a stop sign at the Connecticut Avenue exit for Interstate 680. Police asked the people in the car if there were any weapons, and they all said no, reports said.
However, an officer spotted an AR-15 semiautomatic rifle on the floor of the back seat at Vega’s feet, reports said. When asked if the weapon was his, Vega said it was, reports said.
Reports said Vega told police that he carries guns with him for protection, reports said.
When Vega was searched, police found a magazine in his jacket pocket that matched the magazine that was in the rifle, reports said.
Vega was charged with improper handling because he is under 21 and because he has a warrant for his arrest so he is not allowed to have a gun, which led to the weapons under disability charge, reports said.