A New York University undergraduate student was arrested Monday after police found five air rifles in his dorm room, police said.
A maintenance crew had gone into the student's room for a routine check when the workers spotted what looked like five assault rifles on the bed, police said. They called campus security, who contacted NYPD.
Police determined the weapons were airsoft guns, which shoot small plastic BB-like pellets and do not pose lethal danger. But NYU said in a statement, "In this day and age, especially given recent events at Virginia Tech and Newtown, Conn., we will respond swiftly when there is even a possibility of gun involvement."
The student, Bernard Goal, was arrested on several violations for unlawful possession of an imitation firearm. Police said he was illegally assembling the air rifles and selling them.
Some students on campus supported the response by police and the school to the discovery of the air guns.
"If somebody sees them, they're not going to assume they're fake," said sophomore Sam Quinn. "They're going to assume they're weapons, so whoever turned them in or reported it, bravo, good job."
Friends of Goal said his enthusiasm for air rifles is harmless.
"He's not violent at all, he's a really nice guy," said one friend.
Sharon Liang called Goal "a really nice guy, very respectable, very outgoing."
Goal was awaiting arraignment in court Tuesday night.