Is an FFL in violation of the Gun Free School Zone if their business premises are located near a school?
Generally, it is unlawful for any individual to knowingly possess a firearm within a school zone. A school zone is defined as being within a distance of 1,000 feet from the grounds of a public, parochial, or private school. This prohibition does not apply to the possession of a firearm on private property not part of school grounds, such as an FFL's business premises (e.g., commercial storefront, residence, or driveway).
Once a customer leaves private property located within 1,000 feet of a school with a firearm, they may be in violation of Federal law. However, in the following situations an individual would not be possessing a firearm in violation of 922(q)(A):
1. The individual is licensed by the State or political subdivision to possess the firearm, and the license was issued after law enforcement officials verified that the individual is qualified to receive the license;
2. The firearm is unloaded and is contained within a locked container or a locked firearms rack that is on a motor vehicle;
3. The firearm is possessed by an individual for use in a school-approved program;
4. The individual or his/her employer is doing so in accordance with a contract entered into between the individual and the school;
5. The individual is a law enforcement officer acting in their official capacity; or
6. The individual is crossing school grounds to reach a public or private way. Their firearm is unloaded, and they have permission from the school.
ATF realizes that not all persons who enter or exit an FFL's premises in such case may fall under one of the above-described statutory exemptions. Therefore, ATF advises that in those States where a permit is not needed, the FFL should ensure that a purchaser's firearm is unloaded and placed in a locked container prior to leaving the business premises.
18 U.S.C. Â§ 922(q)(B)