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Gun Free School Zones

Joe reminds us of a poor way in which the law was drafted, that exempts having a gun within 1000 feet of a school if you have a license from the state the school is in, but doesn’t in other circumstances. It is therefore possible to be charged with violating the federal gun free schools act if you carry on a reciprocal out of state permit.

The Gun Free School Zones Act was held unconstitutional once, but Congress rewrote it. It’s likely it wouldn’t stand up again if challenged. But it is worth noting.

6 Responses to “Gun Free School Zones”

  1. Jay says:

    Yeah, but even so, has there been a single example of anyone getting jammed up by a local PD or Sheriff based on the federal law?

  2. Joe Huffman says:

    Probably not. But that’s not the point.

    Stupid laws like this make everyone a criminal. They can be used to do things like force guilty pleas to lesser charges and “encourage” you to become an informant. They are means to make it such a hassle and risky undertaking that being a gun owner is avoided by more people.

    Remember what Ayn Rand said.

  3. Heather from AK says:

    Where I live, it’s literally impossible to drive just about anywhere without being within 1,000 feet of a school.

    Plus, the wording seems incredibly vague to me. “if the individual possessing the firearm is licensed to do so by the State in which the school zone is located” Does that mean licensed to carry the firearm, or licensed to carry the firearm in a school zone? I assumed the former, but my husband has been arguing the latter.

  4. Weer'd Beard says:

    Also how does one travel anywhere unfamiliar without stepping on this stupid law?

    How do you know the road you’re driving down doesn’t have a school on it? Can you judge 1,000 feet with any accuracy?

    And in the end this law does NOTHING to actually protect children from gunman looking for large body counts, or the gangs that wage war and recruitment in schools.

  5. Mike w. says:

    Does that mean licensed to carry the firearm, or licensed to carry the firearm in a school zone?

    Heather, you are correct. It means licensed to carry the firearm. If you were a PA resident carrying on a PA resident permit you could carry inside of a school zone without violating Federal Law. If I did so carrying in PA on my UT non-res permit I’d be breaking the law.

  6. Matthew Carberry says:

    I keep meaning (got some damn fine excuses) to write to my Congress critters (Murkowski, Begich and Young) about this issue. We now have two states, my home of Alaska and Vermont, that don’t require a permit for concealed or open carry and dozens of states that don’t require one for open. As you point out the number of states with CCW reciprocity is almost as large.

    That means GFSZA actually conflicts with a majority of state laws, it is well past time to either repeal it or, if that isn’t politically feasible for some reason, to at least remove the permit requirement and simply make school (zone) carry per the law in the state in which the school is located.

    Basically “Park Carry”.

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