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Thread: Schools, gun-free zones, and handguns

  1. #1
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    I've found Louisiana law which prohibits guns on school property, but I have not found anything prohibiting carrying within 1000 ft of a school.

    What's the law?

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    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gun-Free_School_Zones_Act

    Congress re-enacted the law in the GFSZ Act of 1995, following the Supreme Court's ruling, correcting the technical defects identified by the Court by adding section 3(A) placing the burden on the prosecutor to prove an additional element that the gun, " has moved in or otherwise affects interstate commerce."


    Code:
     (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.

  3. #3
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    Where is the definition of a "school zone"? It talks about private property, but does that mean carrying on a public sidewalk in one's neighborhood is illegal?

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    TITLE 18 > PART I > CHAPTER 44 > §921

    §921. Definitions

    (25) The term “school zone” means—
    (A) in, or on the grounds of, a public, parochial or private school; or
    (B) within a distance of 1,000 feet from the grounds of a public, parochial or private school.


  5. #5
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    The law also requires the governing body of a given area to draw upa map of all such zones and file it with the clerk of court, to be available for inspection by anyone who asks.See RS 14:95.6 http://www.legis.state.la.us/lss/lss.asp?doc=78745 I haven't done that myself, but I'd like to know if such a map exists around here. I saw one posted somewhere that was from a city in Arizona and it made it impossible to travel with a firearm at all in that city.

  6. #6
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    This would be an interesting project to use the google maps api to create a school zone map. Interestingly, it just occurred to me that carrying must be extremely difficult in Vermont despite not needing a permit.

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    RS 14:95.2

    §95.2. Carrying a firearm, or dangerous weapon, by a student or nonstudent on school property, at school-sponsored functions or firearm-free zone

    A. Carrying a firearm, or dangerous weapon as defined in R.S. 14:2, by a student or nonstudent on school property, at a school sponsored function, or in a firearm-free zone is unlawful and shall be defined as possession of any firearm or dangerous weapon, on one's person, at any time while on a school campus, on school transportation, or at any school sponsored function in a specific designated area including but not limited to athletic competitions, dances, parties, or any extracurricular activities, or within one thousand feet of any school campus.

    B. For purposes of this Section, the following words have the following meanings:

    (1) "School" means any elementary, secondary, high school, vocational-technical school, college, or university in this state.

    (2) "Campus" means all facilities and property within the boundary of the school property.

    (3) "School bus" means any motor bus being used to transport children to and from school or in connection with school activities.

    (4) "Nonstudent" means any person not registered and enrolled in that school or a suspended student who does not have permission to be on the school campus.

    C. The provisions of this Section shall not apply to:

    (1) A federal, state, or local law enforcement officer in the performance of his official duties.

    (2) A school official or employee acting during the normal course of his employment or a student acting under the direction of such school official or employee.

    (3) Any person having the written permission of the principal.

    (4) The possession of a firearm occurring within one thousand feet of school property and entirely on private property, or entirely within a private residence, or in accordance with a concealed handgun permit issued pursuant to R.S. 40:1379.1.

    (5) Any constitutionally protected activity which cannot be regulated by the state, such as a firearm contained entirely within a motor vehicle.

    (6) Any student carrying a firearm to or from a class, in which he is duly enrolled, that requires the use of the firearm in the class.

    (7) A student enrolled or participating in an activity requiring the use of a firearm including but not limited to any ROTC function under the authorization of a university.

    (8) A student who possesses a firearm in his dormitory room or while going to or from his vehicle or any other person with permission of the administration.

    D.(1) Whoever commits the crime of carrying a firearm, or a dangerous weapon as defined in R.S. 14:2, by a student or nonstudent on school property, at a school-sponsored function, or in a firearm-free zone shall be imprisoned at hard labor for not more than five years.

    (2) Whoever commits the crime of carrying a firearm, or a dangerous weapon as defined in R.S. 14:2, on school property or in a firearm-free zone with the firearm or dangerous weapon being used in the commission of a crime of violence as defined in R.S. 14:2(B) on school property or in a firearm-free zone, shall be fined not more than two thousand dollars, or imprisoned, with or without hard labor, for not less than one year nor more than five years, or both. Any sentence issued pursuant to the provisions of this Paragraph and any sentence issued pursuant to a violation of a crime of violence as defined in R.S. 14:2(B) shall be served consecutively. Upon commitment to the Department of Public Safety and Corrections after conviction for a crime committed on school property, at a school-sponsored function or in a firearm-free zone, the department shall have the offender evaluated through appropriate examinations or tests conducted under the supervision of the department. Such evaluation shall be made within thirty days of the order of commitment.

    E. Lack of knowledge that the prohibited act occurred on or within one thousand feet of school property shall not be a defense.

    F.(1) School officials shall notify all students and parents of the impact of this legislation and shall post notices of the impact of this Section at each major point of entry to the school. These notices shall be maintained as permanent notices.

    (2)(a) If a student is detained by the principal or other school official for violation of this Section or the school principal or other school official confiscates or seizes a firearm or concealed weapon from a student while upon school property, at a school function, or on a school bus, the principal or other school official in charge at the time of the detention or seizure shall immediately report the detention or seizure to the police department or sheriff's department where the school is located and shall deliver any firearm or weapon seized to that agency.

    (b) The confiscated weapon shall be disposed of or destroyed as provided by law.

    (3) If a student is detained pursuant to Paragraph (2) of this Subsection for carrying a concealed weapon on campus, the principal shall immediately notify the student's parents.

    (4) If a person is arrested for carrying a concealed weapon on campus by a university or college police officer, the weapon shall be given to the sheriff, chief of police, or other officer to whom custody of the arrested person is transferred as provided by R.S. 17:1805(B).

    G. Any principal or school official in charge who fails to report the detention of a student or the seizure of a firearm or concealed weapon to a law enforcement agency as required by Paragraph (F)(2) of this Section within seventy-two hours of notice of the detention or seizure may be issued a misdemeanor summons for a violation hereof and may be fined not more than five hundred dollars or sentenced to not more than forty hours of community service, or both. Upon successful completion of the community service or payment of the fine, or both, the arrest and conviction shall be set aside as provided for in Code of Criminal Procedure Article 894(B).

    Acts 1991, No. 833, §1; Acts 1992, No. 197, §1; Acts 1993, No. 844, §1; Acts 1993, No. 1031, §1; Acts 1994, 3rd Ex. Sess., No. 25, §1; Acts 1994, 3rd Ex. Sess., No. 38, §1; Acts 1994, 3rd Ex. Sess., No. 107, §1; Acts 1999, No. 1236, §1.

  8. #8
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    asforme wrote:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gun-Free_School_Zones_Act

    Congress re-enacted the law in the GFSZ Act of 1995, following the Supreme Court's ruling, correcting the technical defects identified by the Court by adding section 3(A) placing the burden on the prosecutor to prove an additional element that the gun, " has moved in or otherwise affects interstate commerce."


    Code:
    (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.
    Then everybody's in the clear--unless when you boughtyour gunyou bothered tofind out preciselywhere your specific gun was manufactured.

  9. #9
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    Flyer22 wrote:
    asforme wrote:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gun-Free_School_Zones_Act

    Congress re-enacted the law in the GFSZ Act of 1995, following the Supreme Court's ruling, correcting the technical defects identified by the Court by adding section 3(A) placing the burden on the prosecutor to prove an additional element that the gun, " has moved in or otherwise affects interstate commerce."


    Code:
    (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.
    Then everybody's in the clear--unless when you boughtyour gunyou bothered tofind out preciselywhere your specific gun was manufactured.
    I think the AUSTRIA label on the slide kills that for me. =(

  10. #10
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    Flyer22 wrote:
    asforme wrote:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gun-Free_School_Zones_Act

    Congress re-enacted the law in the GFSZ Act of 1995, following the Supreme Court's ruling, correcting the technical defects identified by the Court by adding section 3(A) placing the burden on the prosecutor to prove an additional element that the gun, " has moved in or otherwise affects interstate commerce."


    Code:
    (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.
    Then everybody's in the clear--unless when you boughtyour gunyou bothered tofind out preciselywhere your specific gun was manufactured.
    Don't try to use the above logic in court- you will lose.


    You guys are reading it wrong. The "knowingly" part is in reference to the possession of the gun (ie. Did you know you had a gun on your person?). The interstate transport BS is how Congress is claiming authority to pass the law in the first place. Total BS, though. The interstate commerce clause (Art. 1, Sec. 8) of the COTUS was never meant to apply to things not in the actual act of exchange. For the Fed to say that they can regulate 'anything that has ever moved in commerce' is to give them flat out unlimited power.



  11. #11
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    Unfortunately, many states have enacted their own version of it (Louisiana's is quoted above in other posts) so although there may be aproblem with the Federal Law, the state law could still get you.

    There's been a proposal from various gun-rights groups that the law be amended to remove the 1000 foot delegation, but I don't think anyone wants to take it up and actually file legislation to make that amendment - can't be seen as doing something threatening to the children, you know.

  12. #12
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    I was told the exact same thing by my instructor. I was also told by my instructor that you can not carry a firearm at a high school football game even if it is not on school property because if the school is playing on that field, then they have "legally acquired that location temporary as part of a school function" therefore some of the laws pertaining to school zones, also applies. This is debatable I am sure, especially with the new laws trying to get passed to be able to carry on some or most college campus's. I'd like someone to be more specific on this ruling. How is someone to know exactly what is 1000 feet from a school zone? However any judge would use the ole, "ignorance of the law is not the law".

    The problem I have is that most criminals know that no one who obeys the law will ever carry a weapon into or close to a school. Therefore in my mind a criminal would have no fear about bringing a weapon onto school property because they are not threatened by someone who may possibly be carrying a weapon legally.

    Criminals are cowards. I say that the law should allow citizens who have a "legal" permit to carry a weapon onto school property. I'd be willing to bet if this law would pass, many criminals would think twice about carrying an illegal firearm onto school property.

    Just my thoughts and opinions.

  13. #13
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    Again, the only way to legally carry in a school zone, ifyou are not on private propertyor in your vehicleor being paid to carry one, is to have a parish permit.

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    On the 1000 foot thing, if you look at the laws that LC posted, look at subsection C.4 I believe. That does not apply to someone carrying on private property, in a private residence, or I.A.W. a CC permit.

    That gas station right across the street from your local college, is private property. The cops/DA cannot argue that the law means a private residence (as one cop did try to argue with me) because that excemption line also states private residence, making it obvious that that private property includes, but is not limited to a private residence. So basically, you cannot open carry in a gov't building, a sidewalk, or in the middle of the road within 1000 feet of the school. Any business, be it a gas station, a grocery store, or the cable company, is all private property

  15. #15
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    yes, that does make sense, and a good point La. Very good point.

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