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Thread: Firearms and schools, Proximity?

  1. #1
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    I live little over 700 feet from an elementary school. And approx 1200 feet from another elementary.

    I cannot seem to find how far away i must maintain from the school while carrying, or perhaps even transporting firearms. Is there no buffer zone? Or perhaps it's federal? If anyone has any links or information on the needed buffer zone between carried or transporting firearms near schools please post, Thanks
    [I've looked all over Google, and all i can find are CPL classes ]

  2. #2
    Regular Member Michigander's Avatar
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    By Federal law, you must be at least 1000 feet away from a school while carrying, UNLESS you are licensed by your home state to carry. In Michigan, anyone who owns a registered pistol is "licensed" to carry it by State law. I don't know where that statute is off hand, but I'll look for it. It's somewhere in that 1927 act.

    By State law, you can't carry at a school unless you have a CPL, and if concealing I believe you can only be in the parking lot, or you can licensed open carry anywhere on the grounds.

    To the best of my knowledge, the sidewalk is not school grounds, rather it's a public area for anyone passing by, just like the street. So if I'm right, and I might not be, you can OC next to a school, without a CPL, but don't step on the grass if you are OCing without a CPL, or concealing with a CPL.

    But as for a 1000 foot state law, I don't know of one, and I've read through the penal code looking.

    Remember, this is NOT legal advice, rather it's the law as best as I understand it. I could be wrong.
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    Regular Member Michigander's Avatar
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    Again, not a lawyer, could be wrong, but here is the Michigan law that says all handgun owners are licensed to carry, which I believe cancels out Federal school zone legislation, but certainly not state law about being on the premesis.

    By the way, to play it completely safe, if I had to walk by a school, I would probably stay on the other side of the street.

    http://www.legislature.mi.gov/(S(ynq1luyfroiyjbri3xv1da2g))/mileg.aspx?page=getObject&objectName=mcl-28-422







    FIREARMS (EXCERPT)

    Act 372 of 1927

    28.422 License to purchase, carry, possess, or transport pistol; issuance; qualifications; applications; sale of pistol; exemptions; nonresidents; basic pistol safety brochure; forging application; implementation during business hours.Sec. 2.
    (1) Except as otherwise provided in this section, a person shall not purchase, carry, possess, or transport a pistol in this state without first having obtained a license for the pistol as prescribed in this section.

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    Thank you on advising me of the possibilities, If nothing more then to help me zero in my search.

    On my daily run I go on the perimeter of at least one of the schools if not both. I'll just have to keep looking. If I were to go to my local Sheriff's department or county building, do you think they would be able to help? Would my local prosecuting attorney be a better person to ask?

    Thanks for the Link Michigander. Very Helpful! Perhaps if I just stay out of visual range from the school it should be OK. But I'll definitely look more into it before doing so.

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    Michigander wrote:
    By Federal law, you must be at least 1000 feet away from a school while carrying, UNLESS you are licensed by your home state to carry. In Michigan, anyone who owns a registered pistol is "licensed" to carry it by State law. I don't know where that statute is off hand, but I'll look for it. It's somewhere in that 1927 act.
    ....
    To the best of my knowledge, the sidewalk is not school grounds, rather it's a public area for anyone passing by, just like the street. So if I'm right, and I might not be, you can OC next to a school, without a CPL, but don't step on the grass if you are OCing without a CPL, or concealing with a CPL.
    The applicable federal law is the Gun Free School Zone Act US Code title 18 922 (q).
    http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/18/922(q).html
    Unless you meet one of the exceptions you can not be within 1000 feet of school property. Sidewalks (public property)within 1000 feet of school property are not an exception.

    There is an exception for private property (so you are fine in your home). There is an exception for people who have licenses that meet certain requirements (Read the law to see the exact language)
    There is an exception for carrying unloaded and in a locked container.
    There is an exception if you are a cop, or have permission from the school to be there.

  6. #6
    Regular Member Michigander's Avatar
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    Here's lots of ******** from that linked law, with the important ******** in bold:


    (q) [3] the House of Representatives and the Committee on the Judiciary of the Senate; (D) in fact, even before the sale of a firearm, the gun, its component parts, ammunition, and the raw materials from which they are made have considerably moved in interstate commerce; (E) while criminals freely move from State to State, ordinary citizens and foreign visitors may fear to travel to or through certain parts of the country due to concern about violent crime and gun violence, and parents may decline to send their children to school for the same reason; (F) the occurrence of violent crime in school zones has resulted in a decline in the quality of education in our country; (G) this decline in the quality of education has an adverse impact on interstate commerce and the foreign commerce of the United States; (H) States, localities, and school systems find it almost impossible to handle gun-related crime by themselves—even States, localities, and school systems that have made strong efforts to prevent, detect, and punish gun-related crime find their efforts unavailing due in part to the failure or inability of other States or localities to take strong measures; and (I) the Congress has the power, under the interstate commerce clause and other provisions of the Constitution, to enact measures to ensure the integrity and safety of the Nation’s schools by enactment of this subsection. (2) (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.

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    Regular Member Michigander's Avatar
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    It is ironic, that it appears that a stupid, draconian state law ended up being a means to cancel out a Federal law that clearly oversteps its boundaries.

    And I must say, the excuses in there for being able to legislate that are so absurd that I wonder who wrote it, and I also wonder why the stupidity of that law hasn't been taken to the SCOTUS yet.
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    Michigander wrote:
    It is ironic, that it appears that a stupid, draconian state law ended up being a means to cancel out a Federal law that clearly oversteps its boundaries.

    And I must say, the excuses in there for being able to legislate that are so absurd that I wonder who wrote it, and I also wonder why the stupidity of that law hasn't been taken to the SCOTUS yet.
    If you are referring to why the federal law hasn't been to the supreme court...if you don't know, the first version of the Gun Free School Zone acts did in fact go before the Supreme court, who ruled it unconstitutional in United States v. Lopez in 1995. The GFSZA that we currently have was re-passed in 1996 with the line "has moved in or otherwise affects interstate commerce" included.
    Many people think that the new version is also unconstitutional, but it has not been challenged.

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    Regular Member Michigander's Avatar
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    Yep, I know about the first one, and how it hasn't been to court yet, I just think it should be taken to court.

    I guess the reason that it hasn't been enforced yet is because of its stupidity. Even someone who isn't familiar with guns or gun laws could probably read it and see that what it says is pretty much insane.
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    (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;


    How do i found out there definition of License, IE. Which license they are talking about? Permit to purchase, CPL etc. I mean, the only thing for my pistol I have is my "application and license to purchase a pistol"



  11. #11
    Regular Member Michigander's Avatar
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    I didn't see a definition for license in that law. The word license seems to be used in the same context in both laws, so I don't think that definitions mean much.

    Yet again, could be wrong. But it looks pretty cut and dry.
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    Anti-Saldana Freedom Fighter Venator's Avatar
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    BreakingTheMold wrote:
    (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;


    How do i found out there definition of License, IE. Which license they are talking about? Permit to purchase, CPL etc. I mean, the only thing for my pistol I have is my "application and license to purchase a pistol"

    In my opinion, if you have a registered handgun in Michigan you meet the requirement of the Federal exemption. Michigan does a background check and registration for handguns, in essence you have a licences to possess the handgun.

    If a term is not defined in a law you go to the dictionary. My dictionarystates a license is permission to engage in some activity. The state has given you permission to posses a handgun, therefore it's a license.

    These are my opinions and others may differ.
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    *The information contained above is not meant to be legal advice, but is solely intended as a starting point for further research. These are my opinions, if you have further questions it is advisable to seek out an attorney that is well versed in firearm law.

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    Venator wrote:
    BreakingTheMold wrote:
    (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;


    How do i found out there definition of License, IE. Which license they are talking about? Permit to purchase, CPL etc. I mean, the only thing for my pistol I have is my "application and license to purchase a pistol"

    In my opinion, if you have a registered handgun in Michigan you meet the requirement of the Federal exemption.* Michigan does a background check and registration for handguns, in essence you have a licences to possess the handgun.*

    If a term is not defined in a law you go to the dictionary.* Mine states a license is permission to engage in some activity.* The state has given you permission to posses a handgun, therefore it's a license.

    These are my opinions and others may differ.
    For me, I often wonder if you need an explicit license to carry on school grounds, since that's what the federal law is talking about.

    Now, Michigan law always talks about school grounds, and CPL holders are exempt, as the law says, so I see the CPL being an explicit license to carry on school grounds (openly).

    I just think it's much more ambiguous for the MI gun registration to translate into a license to carry within 1000 feet of a school (but not on school grounds).

  14. #14
    Michigan Moderator DrTodd's Avatar
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    Regarding the Michigan License to Purchase, Carry, Transport, or Possess, it SEEMS to meet the requirement for the exception to the GFZA. However, I believe Venator posted something from Mr. Deasy (sp?) from the State Police which did not list the MI PCPT as an exception. Since the statement from Deasy is not realy "binding" upon anyone, I would tend to disagree w/ his analysis.

    I spent an afternoon once trying to find any cases in the US that dealt with violations of the Federal GFZA; I was only able to find four cases. None of those would be applicable to members here as they usually dealt w/ students (k-12) carrying firearms on school property. Noting the time of the legislation, I think the law was another "feel good" attempt of the US Congress to appear that they were doing
    something about school shootings.

    mkl is correct... the US v Lopez case determined that Congress overstepped it's authority and Congress added additional words to "fix" the problem. Congress is relying upon the Commerce Clause to justify the intrusion into the pregogitives of the states... weak at best.

    But how does this translate for the man/woman on the street...??

    In an earlier post I wrote of a short unofficial conversation I had with an acquaintance who has experience in this area (LEO) ;also is a licensed attorney. The gist of his opinion was that the chances of actually being charged under the law is very small... not impossible but definitely not likely.

    Normally, in order to enforce federal law, local LE would need to be deputized or otherwise given the authority to enforce laws made at the federal level. The chances of you carrying in a school zone and the FBI, by some strange inexplicable coincidence, is there is very remote.

    Since Michigan law would be more likely to be the particular law enforced by local LE, I would be more concerned about the definition of "school zone" in Michigan's
    law:

    (d) “Weapon free school zone” means school property

    and a vehicle used by a school to transport students

    to or from school property.


    The particular exceptions to Michigan's law can be found here:http://legislature.mi.gov/doc.aspx?mcl-750-237a


    This is one of those subjects that could be discussed ad nauseum and there are many websites that do that... more information can be found there.






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