For a second time in two months, a St. Paul elementary student brought a handgun to school — this time on the city's East Side, officials said Tuesday.

An 8-year-old girl at John A. Johnson Achievement Plus Elementary found the gun when she looked into her backpack after placing it on the ground and hearing a thud, said police spokesman Sgt. Mike Ernster.

The girl told her teacher, and Principal Lisa Gruenewald recovered the gun.

"No threats were made, and there was no intent to use the weapon," Gruenewald wrote in a message to parents.

Ernster said that the girl's mother told police that the gun was hers but that she did not know how it got into the backpack. Police are investigating, Ernster said.

He added that the gun was loaded but did not have a bullet in the chamber.

On April 17, authorities confiscated a loaded handgun from a 7-year-old boy's backpack at Highland Park Elementary. A school resource officer recovered the weapon after someone learned of the gun and called 911. That gun was equipped with a trigger lockbox.

Kevin Burns, a school district spokesman, said in a statement Tuesday that student and staff safety is of paramount importance and the district would like families to check backpacks and other items "to help ensure schools remain as safe as possible."