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Thread: Can't carry near school when out of state?

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    Regular Member independence's Avatar
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    Unhappy Can't carry near school when out of state?

    Is it true that I can't carry within 1000 foot of a school when I am outside of my home state? I will be traveling to TX soon and wanted to check. If it is true, can you explain why and perhaps help me with a cite? I've heard this one for a while but never read a cite.

    Also, does this include when driving down the road in front of a school even if I do not leave my vehicle? I'm a little uneasy about this. Seems like that I need to look up maps of where schools are located in the area of my destination. Also, what if I stop for gas and don't realize that on the other side of some trees or something is a school!

  2. #2
    Regular Member independence's Avatar
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    Is this BATF letter on the subject legit?:

    http://www.handgunlaw.us/documents/batf_school_zone.pdf

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    Regular Member JustaShooter's Avatar
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    It would appear to be legitimate, and it matches my understanding of the GFSZA and matches the discussions I've seen on the topic as well.
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    Regular Member MKEgal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by independence
    Is it true that I can't carry within 1000 foot of a school when I am outside of my home state?
    Yes, unless you have a carry license issued by the state in which the school sits.

    If it is true, can you explain why and perhaps help me with a cite?
    See statute text below. Note that this is the federal code. States may have more restrictive laws.

    does this include when driving down the road in front of a school even if I do not leave my vehicle?
    Yes.

    Seems like that I need to look up maps of where schools are located in the area of my destination.
    NO! That's the worst thing you can do, because then you can't honestly say you were unaware of the school.
    This is the only law I know of where the persecutor has to prove that the victim knew (or reasonably should have known) there was a school nearby.

    what if I stop for gas and don't realize that on the other side of some trees or something is a school!
    Unless the gas station is owned by a unit of goverment, you'd be fine.
    The law doesn't apply on private property (anything not gov't owned).


    The bit of federal code you want is 18USC922(q)(2)
    http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/18/922
    Section (1) is just the lawmakers trying to explain why they thought they had the power to prevent people from carrying anywhere.
    (A) It shall be unlawful for any individual knowingly to possess a firearm that has moved in or that otherwise affects interstate or foreign commerce at a place that the individual knows, or has reasonable cause to believe, is a school zone.

    (B) Subparagraph (A) does not apply to the possession of a firearm
    (i) on private property not part of school grounds;

    (ii) if the individual possessing the firearm is licensed to do so by the State in which the school zone is located or a political subdivision of the State, and the law of the State or political subdivision requires that, before an individual obtains such a license, the law enforcement authorities of the State or political subdivision verify that the individual is qualified under law to receive the license;

    (iii) that is
    (I) not loaded; and
    (II) in a locked container, or a locked firearms rack that is on a motor vehicle;


    (iv) by an individual for use in a program approved by a school in the school zone;

    (v) by an individual in accordance with a contract entered into between a school in the school zone and the individual or an employer of the individual;

    (vi) by a law enforcement officer acting in his or her official capacity; or

    (vii) that is unloaded and is possessed by an individual while traversing school premises for the purpose of gaining access to public or private lands open to hunting, if the entry on school premises is authorized by school authorities.
    Last edited by MKEgal; 10-18-2013 at 05:08 PM.

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    Moderator / Administrator Grapeshot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by independence View Post
    Is this BATF letter on the subject legit?:

    http://www.handgunlaw.us/documents/batf_school_zone.pdf
    Don't know about the authenticity, but is precisely on target.

    The authority originates from the Fair Credit Reporting Act. An amendment was added to that document and signed into law.

    BUT - this is not seen as a charge likely to be enforced. Of course no one here is going to suggest that you knowingly/willingly violate the law.
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    Quote Originally Posted by MKEgal View Post
    Yes, unless you have a carry license issued by the state in which the school sits...
    Regarding the part that I bolded. The law says nothing about having a license. It says "is licensed by." I submit that that wording can be legitimately interpreted to mean "is given permission by," which does not require a physical license. IANAL, and I know of no court ruling that would support this view, but were I to be charged under this law, I'd put that idea forth as one of my defenses.

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    The ATF takes the wording "is licensed by" to mean "has a license issued by" the state in which the school is located.

    I disagree. If you have a recognized license, you are licensed by the state to carry. If you weren't, they could arrest you for unlicensed carry.

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    Moderator / Administrator Grapeshot's Avatar
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    The first GFSZ Act was originally enacted as part of the Crime Control Act of 1990. The GFSZ Act was repealed and re-enacted as part of the “No Child Left Behind” Act. The original was found to be unconstitutional - it is expected that the replacement will be found to be the same.
    You will not rise to the occasion; you will fall back on your level of training.” Archilochus, 650 BC

    Old and treacherous will beat young and skilled every time. Yata hey.

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    Accomplished Advocate BB62's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KBCraig View Post
    The ATF takes the wording "is licensed by" to mean "has a license issued by" the state in which the school is located.

    I disagree. If you have a recognized license, you are licensed by the state to carry. If you weren't, they could arrest you for unlicensed carry.
    Although I disagree with your interpretation of what "is licensed by" means, what about those states that require no license to carry - open or concealed?

    Gee, if I was a cop in one of those states, I'd be arresting people like mad!

    (oh, wait, it's a Federal offense, so who would have to do the arresting??)

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    Quote Originally Posted by BB62 View Post
    (oh, wait, it's a Federal offense, so who would have to do the arresting??)
    The arrest might be for suspicion of felonious mopery with intent to gawp. An offence charged is not essential to an arrest, only suspicion. You may beat this rap, but you will not beat the ride.

    In 1970, in Columbus, Ohio, US, mopery was defined as ... https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mopery

    https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/gawp
    I am responsible for my writing, not your understanding of it.

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    Accomplished Advocate BB62's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nightmare View Post
    The arrest might be for suspicion of felonious mopery with intent to gawp...
    Now I'm really concerned!

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    Regular Member Maverick9's Avatar
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    What's amazing is that this, like no other 'gun control' law shows how seriously stupid and ridiculous they are.

    Here, you have people breaking this law ALL THE TIME, not knowing if something is a 'school' (and it doesn't say what kind of school, could be an adult education, technical school, heck a school of fish). Passing a law that's impossible to follow, anyone will tell you promotes disrespect of laws. You never want to do that. Of course it gives a lot of power to an abuser of the statute.

    Just like must declare states. Very easy to abuse those and arrest someone who did, in fact, declare, and just lie and say they didn't. What's your defense? There isn't any unless you're recording then you have to be sure it's a two party state.

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    Campaign Veteran MAC702's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maverick9 View Post
    ...it doesn't say what kind of school, could be an adult education, technical school, heck a school of fish...
    Actually, it does:

    ...public, parochial or private school.
    Pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 921(a)(26) the term "school" means a school which provides elementary or secondary education, as determined under State law.
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    Accomplished Advocate BB62's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maverick9 View Post
    What's amazing is that this, like no other 'gun control' law shows how seriously stupid and ridiculous they are.

    Here, you have people breaking this law ALL THE TIME, not knowing if something is a 'school' (and it doesn't say what kind of school, could be an adult education, technical school, heck a school of fish). Passing a law that's impossible to follow, anyone will tell you promotes disrespect of laws. You never want to do that. Of course it gives a lot of power to an abuser of the statute.

    Just like must declare states. Very easy to abuse those and arrest someone who did, in fact, declare, and just lie and say they didn't. What's your defense? There isn't any unless you're recording then you have to be sure it's a two party state.
    (my bold)

    I think you mean a one party state.

  15. #15
    Regular Member independence's Avatar
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    Thanks for all the input. The conclusion I've come to is that the ATF is interpreting the law inaccurately and that if I ever needed to fight such a charge in court I would have a very good chance at winning.

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    Quote Originally Posted by independence View Post
    Thanks for all the input. The conclusion I've come to is that the ATF is interpreting the law inaccurately and that if I ever needed to fight such a charge in court I would have a very good chance at winning.
    I think your best shot would be fighting the constitutionality of the GFSZA. However, throwing everything at the wall increases the chance that at least one thing will stick. So I would definitely include the is-licensed-by argument.

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