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Thread: Open carry and school zones

  1. #1
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    Open carry and school zones

    First I apologize if my thread title is misleading. I'm new to open carry, and fully understand that carrying ON school grounds is verboten. I also know that the law says I am to not be within 1000 ft of a school zone.

    However, I find myself in something of a puzzling situation. I live in a mobile home community, the driveway of which opens onto a main street in my town. Directly across from this driveway is the grounds of the local high school. The school itself is set a fair ways back from the street (I don't know if it's a full 1,000 feet or not though). I come and go from my home several times a day, either walking, driving, or riding (tractor, motorcycle, or bicycle), meaning I'm as close as 5ft to the school grounds.

    What actually constitutes "school zone"? The school itself and the sidewalk surrounding it? The school, its sidewalk, and its parking lots? The school and the complete property upon which it resides? The last thing I want is to find myself in a legal predicament while doing something as simple as walking to the gas station or the restaurant next door.

    I thank everybody in advance.

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    948.605  Gun-free school zones.

    (2) Possession of firearm in school zone.
    (a) Any individual who knowingly possesses a firearm at a place that the individual knows, or has reasonable cause to believe, is in or on the grounds of a school is guilty of a Class I felony. Any individual who knowingly possesses a firearm at a place that the individual knows, or has reasonable cause to believe, is within 1,000 feet of the grounds of a school is subject to a Class B forfeiture.
    (b) Paragraph (a) does not apply to the possession of a firearm by any of the following:
    1m. A person who possesses the firearm in accordance with 18 USC 922 (q) (2) (B) (i), (iv), (v), (vi), or (vii).
    1r. Except if the person is in or on the grounds of a school, a licensee, as defined in s. 175.60 (1) (d), or an out-of-state licensee, as defined in s. 175.60 (1) (g).

    175.60(1)(d)

    ( d ) "Licensee" means an individual holding a valid license to carry a concealed weapon issued under this section.

    I live across the street from a school and as a concealed carry permit holder I am legal. Also before the CCW in Wisconsin, when I went hunting I put the gun in the car on my property (cased, etc) I was legal per our DA at the time that the school zone law came into being.

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    Welcome to OCDO-Wisconsin y'all.

    Bennie, I suspect, by the title and the question, that OPie does not have a CWL and has not received the in-depth training that you have clearly benefited from.
    I am responsible for my writing, not your understanding of it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BennieH View Post
    948.605  Gun-free school zones.

    (2) Possession of firearm in school zone.
    (a) Any individual who knowingly possesses a firearm at a place that the individual knows, or has reasonable cause to believe, is in or on the grounds of a school is guilty of a Class I felony. Any individual who knowingly possesses a firearm at a place that the individual knows, or has reasonable cause to believe, is within 1,000 feet of the grounds of a school is subject to a Class B forfeiture.
    (b) Paragraph (a) does not apply to the possession of a firearm by any of the following:
    1m. A person who possesses the firearm in accordance with 18 USC 922 (q) (2) (B) (i), (iv), (v), (vi), or (vii).
    1r. Except if the person is in or on the grounds of a school, a licensee, as defined in s. 175.60 (1) (d), or an out-of-state licensee, as defined in s. 175.60 (1) (g).

    175.60(1)(d)

    ( d ) "Licensee" means an individual holding a valid license to carry a concealed weapon issued under this section.

    I live across the street from a school and as a concealed carry permit holder I am legal. Also before the CCW in Wisconsin, when I went hunting I put the gun in the car on my property (cased, etc) I was legal per our DA at the time that the school zone law came into being.

    I've read those, but unfortunately that still doesn't answer my questions. What actually constitutes "school zone"? The school itself or the entire property the school sits upon? I'm signed up for a class so that I can apply for my conceal carry, but the class isn't until mid-January. In the interim I'm wanting to make sure I'm in full compliance, and that is why I am asking these questions.

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    Quote Originally Posted by fix everything View Post
    I've read those, but unfortunately that still doesn't answer my questions. What actually constitutes "school zone"? The school itself or the entire property the school sits upon? I'm signed up for a class so that I can apply for my conceal carry, but the class isn't until mid-January. In the interim I'm wanting to make sure I'm in full compliance, and that is why I am asking these questions.
    Stay on the other side of the street to be safe. Applicable with a CCL only. Otherwise stay away in excess of 1000ft. Velkomen to da blog. become a member of Wisconsin Carry also. Check out their website at wisconsincarry.org.
    Last edited by Law abider; 12-20-2013 at 12:11 PM.

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    Regular Member NoTolerance's Avatar
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    The school zone extends 1000' from the property line (grounds) of the school.

    Private property is exempt from the GFSZ rule, so you're fine in your mobile home community itself. Once off the private property, you must have your firearm unloaded and encased.
    Last edited by NoTolerance; 12-20-2013 at 12:26 PM. Reason: Forgot to add "unloaded".

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    Quote Originally Posted by NoTolerance View Post
    The school zone extends 1000' from the property line (grounds) of the school.

    Private property is exempt from the GFSZ rule, so you're fine in your mobile home community itself. Once off the private property, you must have your firearm unloaded and encased.
    Fair enough, thanks.

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    Regular Member MKEgal's Avatar
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    welcome aboard!

    "What actually constitutes "school zone"?"
    The information you want is in the paragraph before the info you've already found.

    According to 948.605(1)(c):
    (c) "School zone" means any of the following:
    1. In or on the grounds of a school.
    2. Within 1,000 feet from the grounds of a school.

    948.61(1)(b) says:
    "School" means a public school, parochial or private school, or tribal school, as defined in 115.001(15m), which provides an educational program for one or more grades between grades 1 and 12 and which is commonly known as an elementary school, middle school, junior high school, senior high school, or high school.

    115.001(15m) says:
    "Tribal school" means an institution with an educational program that has as its primary purpose providing education in any grade or grades from kindergarten to 12 and that is one of the following:
    (a) Controlled by the elected governing body of a federally recognized American Indian tribe or band in this state

    Notice that for everything but a tribal school, "school" means grades 1-12.
    For a tribal school, "school" includes K.

    Most people I've talked with who have studied the firearms laws applying to regular people think that the sidewalk in front of the school is public property, not part of the school grounds.
    DO NOT set foot onto anything from the sidewalk toward the school!
    But it would be safer to stay in the street or on the sidewalk across the street.

    Hope that helps.
    Last edited by MKEgal; 12-21-2013 at 01:05 AM.
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    Regular Member MKEgal's Avatar
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    Oh, and while you're on your property, or any other non-public property (not the sidewalk, street, etc.) you are exempt from the "gun-free" school zone law even without having your ccl because one of the exemptions for being armed in a school zone is to be on private property, even if it's right next to or across from the school

    See that bit of federal code referenced in our "gun-free" school zone law?
    18USC922(q)(2)(b) is the federal version, and it's slightly different (requires a locked case).
    But subsection (i) says the law doesn't apply "on private property not part of school grounds".

    IANAL,NDIPOOTV

    Another of the exemptions in the WI law is to have the firearm unloaded & encased.
    Until you get your license, that's how you'll have to transport it anywhere except on private property.
    Last edited by MKEgal; 12-21-2013 at 12:59 AM.

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    I was talking with a co-worker today who also open carries. He made mention of a law change that that would do away with the 1000'ft rule or at least minimize it, but he wasn't sure if it was something that was actually passed or if it's something still in the works. His understanding of it was that it was the fix for situations like this. Does anybody know if there is any truth to this? I'm not expecting to be allowed on school grounds themselves while carrying, but it would be nice to not have to disarm and unload just to go across the street to the gas station or deli (both of which are properties that neighbor the school grounds).

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    Quote Originally Posted by fix everything View Post
    [ ... ] He made mention of a law change that that would do away with the 1000'ft rule or at least minimize it, but he wasn't sure if it was something that was actually passed or if it's something still in the works. [ ... ]
    Not that I know. He may be referring to the likely unconstitutionality of the federal guns free school zone law, whence the thousand feet, that has kept the feds from allowing a test case appeal.

    The requirements for an appeal (and appellate courts write case law) include a finding of guilty with legally correctable error, so someone will have to be charged, found guilty with grounds for appeal and fight that battle. So far everyone here has avoided the chance.
    I am responsible for my writing, not your understanding of it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Law abider View Post
    Stay on the other side of the street to be safe. Applicable with a CCL only. Otherwise stay away in excess of 1000ft. Velkomen to da blog. become a member of Wisconsin Carry also. Check out their website at wisconsincarry.org.
    Interesting you tell the person to join WCI. I am very leery of an organization such as WCI because of the fact the guy who runs it has never released the actual number of members in the club since it was formed.

    Could be as little as a dozen members or in the thousands, the guy is very secretive.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Franky View Post
    Interesting you tell the person to join WCI. I am very leery of an organization such as WCI because of the fact the guy who runs it has never released the actual number of members in the club since it was formed.

    Could be as little as a dozen members or in the thousands, the guy is very secretive.
    Or you could go here:http://www.wisconsincarry.org/
    VERY TOP SECRET.
    Last edited by Plankton; 12-21-2013 at 05:33 PM.
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    Regular Member MKEgal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fix everything
    a law change that that would do away with the 1000'ft rule or at least minimize it, but he wasn't sure if it was something that was actually passed or if it's something still in the works.
    When our cc law was created, they changed our "gun-free" school zone law so that if you're in the magical 1000' zone without a license, it's a ticket. Used to be a crime.
    Right now, that's about as good as it gets.
    It would be nice if WI would conform to the federal "GF"SZ law so anyone with a carry license could be anywhere on the grounds or in the magical bubble and be legal.

    it would be nice to not have to disarm and unload just to go across the street to the gas station or deli (both of which are properties that neighbor the school grounds).
    Right now, the only way to do that is to get a license from the state in which the school sits.

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    Regular Member MKEgal's Avatar
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    I see Doug is still upset about not joining WI Carry.
    "has never released the actual number of members"
    They've been released to any member who asks.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Plankton View Post
    Or you could go here:http://www.wisconsincarry.org/
    VERY TOP SECRET.
    Nada on the guys club site about the number of dues paying legit members.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Franky View Post
    Nada on the guys club site about the number of dues paying legit members.
    Just like http://wisconsingunowners.org/ and Corey Graff's "Wisconsin's Only No-Compromise Gun Lobby"
    I am responsible for my writing, not your understanding of it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MKEgal View Post
    I see Doug is still upset about not joining WI Carry.
    "has never released the actual number of members"
    They've been released to any member who asks.
    Your statement is false. I see my name still listed on the founders club page since 2009. I asked the guy in charge personally back then at a luncheon at the Thunder Bay eat joint. Never got a straight answer. That was the beginning of my departure from the club.

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    Quote Originally Posted by fix everything View Post
    First I apologize if my thread title is misleading. I'm new to open carry, and fully understand that carrying ON school grounds is verboten. I also know that the law says I am to not be within 1000 ft of a school zone.

    However, I find myself in something of a puzzling situation. I live in a mobile home community, the driveway of which opens onto a main street in my town. Directly across from this driveway is the grounds of the local high school. The school itself is set a fair ways back from the street (I don't know if it's a full 1,000 feet or not though). I come and go from my home several times a day, either walking, driving, or riding (tractor, motorcycle, or bicycle), meaning I'm as close as 5ft to the school grounds.

    What actually constitutes "school zone"? The school itself and the sidewalk surrounding it? The school, its sidewalk, and its parking lots? The school and the complete property upon which it resides? The last thing I want is to find myself in a legal predicament while doing something as simple as walking to the gas station or the restaurant next door.

    I thank everybody in advance.
    The big question is do you have a CCL? If you have a CCL, you can walk up to the edge of school property, just not on it.

    I live by Wilson Meats in Elkhorn and have been open carrying in Elkhorn for over 3 years. Feel free to come to the meet and greet we are having the 1st Sunday of January (and every month) at the Culvers in Delavan from 1-3 pm.

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    Thanks for the response Paul. I have no issue with not being allowed on school grounds while carrying, I just wanted to clear up how my situation would turn out. I'll have to see what my work schedule is like, I typically work Sunday afternoons but I would love to attend

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    It is too bad that legislators in my home State of Wisconsin do not take a lesson from Utah. In Utah, anyone with a Concealed Firearm Permit may carry on school grounds, including into the classroom while students are present. This applies to any school that receives tax money from pre-K through Institutes of Higher Learning. However private schools that are privately funded (example: BYU) may prohibit firearms on campus grounds, but non on public routes of travel (sidewalks, streets, etc.).

    In the past 12 months, the Utah Shooting Sports Council has sponsored three FREE classes to any Utah teacher who wants to obtain a Utah CFP to be able to carry in the classroom. To date, we have taught over 275 Utah educators and provided fingerprint, photo, lunch, and help with the application. In the 12 years that it has been legal in Utah there have been no instances of teachers going "postal" on their kids and no incidents of kids getting guns away from teachers. There have also been no instances of school violence with firearms. Is that just "good luck", or does allowing teachers to be armed work?

    Link: http://www.kutv.com/news/top-stories...vid_8968.shtml

    link: http://fox13now.com/2014/01/03/free-...utah-teachers/

    The Yellow Cat has been very happy to volunteer his time to these efforts because as we all know, when seconds count, the Police are several minutes away (at best). And, training our teachers to have the knowledge, skills, and attitude to safely, competently, and confidently carry a firearm to protect themselves and their students is perhaps the very best way to prevent another Sandy Hook like tragedy. Gun Free Zones do not deter criminals or the mentally unbalanced. They just disarm honest, law-abiding, and often very caring citizens.

    But, on this forum, I am "preaching to the choir'". Still, it might be good to put a bug in the ear of one or more gun friendly Wisconsin legislators.

    Yellow Cat Out -
    My cats support the Second Amendment. NRA Life Member, NRA Instructor: Pistol, Rifle, & Personal Protection - NRA Certified Range Safety Officer, Utah BCI Certified Concealed Firearm Permit Instructor.
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    Campaign Veteran Running Wolf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jpm84092 View Post
    training our teachers to have the knowledge, skills, and attitude to safely, competently, and confidently carry a firearm to protect themselves and their students is perhaps the very best way to prevent another Sandy Hook like tragedy.
    If only this could fit on a bumper sticker. We could hand them out at schools around the state . . .
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