A 19-year old Virginia Tech student was arrested in January for trying to buy 5,000 rounds of ammo according to Virginia Tech police.

The campus police arrested Yunsong Zhao and charged him with a single count of possessing or transporting firearms.

Zhao is not an American citizen. He has family in China and has lived in the Blacksburg, Virginia area for six months while attending the university.

“We never felt or believed there was a threat to the community and there isn’t one now,” a spokesperson for Virginia Tech said. “The arrest came following an investigation lasting weeks.

According to Virginia Tech Police Chief Kevin Foust, the arrest was without incident. Zhao was taken to Montgomery County Jail where he is still held without bail. According to Zhao’s lawyer, Jason Wolfrey, a bond hearing is scheduled for this week. The judge told Zhao he would have granted Zhao bond if an ICE detainer had not been placed on the student.

“I anticipate evidence will be shown demonstrating fears linked to this case are over sensationalized. There was never a menace to the city,” Wolfrey told reporters.

Zhao’s arrest record indicates Zhao investigated bulletproof vests and had purchased a used police car which still bore police markings.

Before his arrest, Zhao was observed shooting a Buschmaster in the Jefferson National Forest range. The weapon had a 30-round cartridge holder in it which changed the legal status. While it is not unlawful to possess a 30-round magazine and an XM-15, it became unlawful when Zhao used the clip with his weapon while he had a student visa.

Zhao, who had checked the weapon into the student’s gun safe at the university police department, checked it out on January 26 on his way to the firing range. Detectives followed him and witnessed Zhao shooting the weapon with the over-sized magazine.

During a jail conversation, Zhao said he “assumes it’s cool” he’s popular in China and believes he will enjoy a triumphant arrival in Beijing.

Virginia gun lovers are in an uproar over Zhao’s arrest.

“A person can own as many 30-round rifles, pistols or shotgun ammo mags as they want in Virginia,” writes Robert Farago on TheTruthAboutGuns.com, a pro-gun website. “Zhao’s defense lawyer isn’t questioning the ‘box of rocks’ stupid magazine law.”

According to Wolfrey, when Zhao retrieved his gun from the locker he had a lawful 20-round clip. The defense attorney gave the court pictures of Zhao’s weapon with a 20-round magazine, claiming that was what Zhao used. Wolfrey intends to introduce a video, as evidence, from the range showing the modest magazine.

Wolfrey told the court that other items seized by police, such as a bayonet, had zip to do with the accusations Zhao faces.

Wolfrey said, “If Zhao had a large amount of munitions in his apartment, it was because he loved target shooting. He was a weekly visitor to the range, and it’s not illegal or unusual for persons to buy ammo in bulk.”

Gun proponents are questioning Zhao’s arrest and the Virginia law.

One comment heard outside the courtroom: “It seems like the ‘assault weapon ban’ refers only to youths and foreign citizens. No matter that it doesn’t concern me, once determinations are made, they  affect everything.”

Even The White House was brought into the conversation: “The Court should strike whatever bullshit laws, Virginia has. All of them. Fast,” said one observer. “Trump should forgive that guy.”

One thing the bantering gun lovers forgot: The President does not have the power to pardon a person convicted under state law.

In 2007, Seung-Hui Cho, a Virginia Tech student killed 32 persons in a mass shooting before killing himself.