LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- A student at Henry County High School has been arrested after authorities say he drove to school with a gun in his glove compartment -- but the boy's mother claims he possessed the gun legally.

According to an arrest report, the incident occurred Tuesday morning.

The Henry County Sheriff's Department say another student overheard 18-year-old Fernando Smithers say that -- regardless of what happened -- he had a gun in the glove compartment of his car outside in the school parking lot.

Smithers was brought to the principal's office, where he allegedly admitted that he did indeed have his brother's gun in his glove compartment. Authorities say he told them he forgot it was there.

According to the arrest report, sheriff's deputies retried a loaded .40-caliber Taurus handgun. The sheriff's department claims that Kentucky law requires a person to be 21 to own a gun.

Smithers was arrested and charged with the unlawful possession of a weapon on school property.

He is currently being held in the Oldham County Detention Center.

But Smithers' mother, Rhonda McQueen, contacted WDRB News on Thursday and said her son was within his legal right to have the gun. She said he kept the gun for self defense, had been threatened by another student, and kept the gun locked up in his glove compartment, never removing it from his car. 

She said her son is a 'straight-A' student with a scholarship for college who had "never been in trouble." She added that she had contacted authorities at the school Thursday morning about threats she said were made against her son.

The sheriff's department said Thursday morning that the investigation is still ongoing, and additional charges may be filed.

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