Following is information on Congress's revision of the Gun-free School Zones Act that was struck down in U.S. v. Lopez.
From Congressional Record S7920-7921
THE GUN-FREE SCHOOL ZONES ACT OF 1995
Mr. KOHL. Mr. President, with my colleagues Senators Specter, Simon, Feinstein, Bradley, Lautenberg, Chafee, and Kerrey, we rise today to introduce the Gun-Free School Zones Act of 1995. This common-sense measure, which replaces the original Gun Free School Zones Act, is needed to send a strong message to teachers, State law enforcement officers and State prosecutors: the Federal Government stands behind you and will support you in getting guns out of our school grounds.
Let me begin by reminding you that the original version of this bill passed by unanimous consent in 1990. The measure was kept in conference where any one member's objection could have struck the bill. That conference was attended by the senior members of the Judiciary Committee, among them Senators Biden, Hatch, Thurmond, Simpson, and Kennedy. It was signed into law by then-President Bush. It is a measure that was supported by all of us. And we should continue to support it.
But in April, a sharply divided Supreme Court struck down the original Gun-Free School Zones Act in the case of United States versus Lopez. It did so on the grounds that the commerce clause of the Constitution did not support the act. As long as we can address the Supreme Court's concerns, there is no reason why the decision should alter the support this bill had in 1990.
The original act made it a Federal crime to knowingly bring a gun within 1,000 feet of a school or to fire a gun in these zones, with carefully crafted exceptions. The Gun-Free School Zones Act of 1995 does exactly what the old act did. However, it adds a requirement that the prosecutor prove as part of each prosecution that the gun moved in or affected interstate or foreign commerce.
That is the only change to the legislative language of the original bill. The only change. We place only a minor burden on prosecutors while simply and plainly assuring the constitutionality of the act.