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Thread: What if you live less than 1,000 feet from a school?

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    I can walk to our local school in about 2 minutes. The federal gun-free school zones act makes it a crime punishable by imprisonment to carry a gun in a school "zone" defined as an area within 1,000 feet of a school. There is an exception for CCW permit holders, which I am not, and of course, private property.

    So it seems like the minute I cross over the boundary lines of my property with a firearm and no CCW permit, I am a criminal. Do I read this right?

    How is it nobody has ever challenged the constitutionality of this law?

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    Regular Member Brimstone Baritone's Avatar
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    melinuxfool wrote:
    So it seems like the minute I cross over the boundary lines of my property with a firearm and no CCW permit, I am a criminal. Do I read this right?
    Yep, that's pretty well it.

    How is it nobody has ever challenged the constitutionality of this law?
    Because, AFAIK, no one has been charged under this law since they added the interstate commerce catchall. If you want to be the test case, you have a good chance of winning your appeal since the SCOTUS already struck the original law down once.

    You want to be the test case? :shock: Didn't think so.
    There was a time that the pieces fit, but I watched them fall away, mildewed and smoldering, strangled by our coveting. I've done the math enough to know the dangers of our second guessing. Doomed to crumble, unless we grow and strengthen our communication. -Tool, "Schism"

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    Regular Member SouthernBoy's Avatar
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    Unfortunately most states have no protection against this invasion of your rights (I think there may be a few that have passed laws invalidating this nonsense but I could be wrong here). So the only safe way to get around this legally is to get your CC permit.

    Does make one wonder about states like Vermont, Alaska, and now Arizona where a concealed carry permit is not required to carry concealed. I would think that in those cases, the state constitution could be considered as a "license" under U.S. Code 18,922.

    'Bout time states told the feds to take a hike and invalidate this ridiculous law.

    In the final seconds of your life, just before your killer is about to dispatch you to that great eternal darkness, what would you rather have in your hand? A cell phone or a gun?

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    SouthernBoy wrote:
    Unfortunately most states have no protection against this invasion of your rights (I think there may be a few that have passed laws invalidating this nonsense but I could be wrong here). So the only safe way to get around this legally is to get your CC permit.

    Does make one wonder about states like Vermont, Alaska, and now Arizona where a concealed carry permit is not required to carry concealed. I would think that in those cases, the state constitution could be considered as a "license" under U.S. Code 18,922.

    'Bout time states told the feds to take a hike and invalidate this ridiculous law.
    Alaska and Arizona both kept their CCW permit system in place however. Mostly for the sake of reciprocity with other states. So I would think that would cover the school zone bit as well.

    It just seems ludicrous to me that a school should have any right to control property that it doesn't own. It's one thing if they want to ban guns from school property. I understand the reasoning why, even though I think the reasoning is flawed. But to say that the school should have a sort of "zone of control" over lands that it does not own is absolutely, positively absurd.

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    Regular Member SouthernBoy's Avatar
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    melinuxfool wrote:
    SouthernBoy wrote:
    Unfortunately most states have no protection against this invasion of your rights (I think there may be a few that have passed laws invalidating this nonsense but I could be wrong here). So the only safe way to get around this legally is to get your CC permit.

    Does make one wonder about states like Vermont, Alaska, and now Arizona where a concealed carry permit is not required to carry concealed. I would think that in those cases, the state constitution could be considered as a "license" under U.S. Code 18,922.

    'Bout time states told the feds to take a hike and invalidate this ridiculous law.
    Alaska and Arizona both kept their CCW permit system in place however. Mostly for the sake of reciprocity with other states. So I would think that would cover the school zone bit as well.

    It just seems ludicrous to me that a school should have any right to control property that it doesn't own. It's one thing if they want to ban guns from school property. I understand the reasoning why, even though I think the reasoning is flawed. But to say that the school should have a sort of "zone of control" over lands that it does not own is absolutely, positively absurd.
    Good point... I had overlooked that.

    Also, I agree with your statement about schools and them having dominion over property far exceeding their grounds. Heck, when I was in school, kids used to bring guns with them and leave them in their cars or trucks for recreational or hunting use after school. No one paid them a mind and it was as normal and natural as you might expect.


    In the final seconds of your life, just before your killer is about to dispatch you to that great eternal darkness, what would you rather have in your hand? A cell phone or a gun?

    Si vis pacem, para bellum.

    America First!

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    Regular Member SsevenN's Avatar
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    This is an issue I deal with daily, as I live within 1,000 feet of an elementary school, but on the private property of an apt complex.



    The hilarity is thus; I can open carry tomy mail box, I can open carry in my car and leave the complex. I can open carry and leave the complex through the 'service access' and up to the street north of me, but I can't open carry and leavevia the actual road on foot.



    Pointless and generally worthless legislation.





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    SsevenN wrote:
    This is an issue I deal with daily, as I live within 1,000 feet of an elementary school, but on the private property of an apt complex.

    The hilarity is thus; I can open carry tomy mail box, I can open carry in my car and leave the complex. I can open carry and leave the complex through the 'service access' and up to the street north of me, but I can't open carry and leavevia the actual road on foot.

    Pointless and generally worthless legislation.
    Do you have a license to carry? Does NM do a background check before issuing the license? If the answer to both questions is yes, then the federal law does not prohibit carry in a school zone. I can't speak to NM law.

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    SouthernBoy wrote:
    Unfortunately most states have no protection against this invasion of your rights (I think there may be a few that have passed laws invalidating this nonsense but I could be wrong here). So the only safe way to get around this legally is to get your CC permit.

    Does make one wonder about states like Vermont, Alaska, and now Arizona where a concealed carry permit is not required to carry concealed. I would think that in those cases, the state constitution could be considered as a "license" under U.S. Code 18,922.

    'Bout time states told the feds to take a hike and invalidate this ridiculous law.
    Well it's not the feds to be faulted. They just enforce U.S. Law. It's U.S. Congress to blame.

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    melinuxfool wrote:
    I can walk to our local school in about 2 minutes. The federal gun-free school zones act makes it a crime punishable by imprisonment to carry a gun in a school "zone" defined as an area within 1,000 feet of a school. There is an exception for CCW permit holders, which I am not, and of course, private property.

    So it seems like the minute I cross over the boundary lines of my property with a firearm and no CCW permit, I am a criminal. Do I read this right?

    How is it nobody has ever challenged the constitutionality of this law?
    Someone has challenged the constitutionality of Wisconsin's nearly identical version of this law in federal court:

    The verbage of Wisconsin's law is nearly identical and practical argument made in the lawsuit IS identical. If we win this lawsuit in Wisconsin, given the identical intent and application of the federal statute, we may deal a death blow to that as well. It really depends on how broad or limited the decision (if it is in our favor in Wisconsin) is.

    http://www.wisconsincarry.org/pdf/GFSZ_Complaint_A1.pdf

    Wisconsin Carry, Inc. files federal lawsuit challenging Wisconsin's (GFSZA)

    On January 8th 2010 Wisconsin Carry, Inc. filed a lawsuit in Federal Court to challenge the constitutionality of Wisconsin's onerous Gun Free School Zone Act.

    Wisconsin's Gun Free School Zone Act (GFSZA), which was modeled on the federal Gun-Free School Zone Act of 1990, prohibits the possession or shooting of a firearm within a school zone. It defines a school zone as in the school building, the school grounds, and the area within 1000 feet of the school grounds. The Federal GFSZA was struck down as unconstitutional in 1995. Wisconsin's GFSZA remains.

    In 1998 79% of the voters in the great state of Wisconsin voted Article 1 Section 25 into our state constitution. "The people have the right to keep and bear arms for security, defense, hunting, recreation or any other lawful purpose". The Constitutions of the United States and Wisconsin guarantee the right of individuals to keep and bear arms; and as the United States Supreme Court held in the DC gun ban case, DC v. Heller, "bear" means "carry." Wisconsin’s Gun Free School Zone Act covers such a broad area that it practically forecloses a meaningful right to keep and bear arms in large parts of the state. It is an onerous restriction that has the potential to ensnare thousands of law-abiding citizens exercising their constitutionally guaranteed rights and expose them to felony charges. Wisconsin's GFSZ Act places someone who was innocently walking their dog around their subdivision at night while armed in danger of felony charges if they should happen to cross these invisible school zones which extend nearly a quarter mile out from the edge of school property and many properties that are not identified as schools!

    More than 2000 people have signed our online petition calling on the Governor and Legislature to repeal this law.

    Wisconsin Carry is a non-profit corporation dedicated to the preservation and reclamation of the basic rights critical to a free society. Our membership believes in the founding principles of our country and our constitution: That all are created equal, that governments exist to protect the rights of individuals, and that governments derive their power from the consent of the governed. Our mission is to preserve, advance and expand these basic rights which law-abiding citizens are entitled to have a practical ability to exercise.
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    Because, AFAIK, no one has been charged under this law since they added the interstate commerce catchall.
    I have case-law citations of people who have been convicted under the "new" Fed GFSZ law. That documentation is on a remote computer that I won't return to until Monday, I'll post it then.

    In addition, I have a letter from the BATF that specifically states that NON-RESIDENT PERMITS DO NOT EXEMPT THE HOLDER FROM THE SCHOOL ZONE's.

    So if you are carrying with a non-resident permit and you knowingly cross a school zone, you are committing a felony.

    I have a Florida non-resident permit but I live in Wisconsin. When I carry in any state but Florida, I am in violation of the Federal GFSZ statute when I enter a school zone because I'm not licensed BY that state.

    I'll post that letter as well.
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    Pointless and generally worthless legislation
    Exceptionally DANGEROUS legislation.

    Likely hundreds of thousands of permit holders are committing felonies daily and they don't know it. The only thing that keeps them from facing prosecution is the local PD either doesn't know, or chooses not to enforce the Fed GFSZ statute.

    I think its a precarious position to be violating the letter of a federal statute daily and hoping law-enforcement never decides to START enforcing it or "selectively" enforcing it. eesh..
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    Wisconsin Carry, Inc. - Chairman wrote:
    Because, AFAIK, no one has been charged under this law since they added the interstate commerce catchall.
    I have case-law citations of people who have been convicted under the "new" Fed GFSZ law. That documentation is on a remote computer that I won't return to until Monday, I'll post it then.

    In addition, I have a letter from the BATF that specifically states that NON-RESIDENT PERMITS DO NOT EXEMPT THE HOLDER FROM THE SCHOOL ZONE's.

    So if you are carrying with a non-resident permit and you knowingly cross a school zone, you are committing a felony.

    I have a Florida non-resident permit but I live in Wisconsin. When I carry in any state but Florida, I am in violation of the Federal GFSZ statute when I enter a school zone because I'm not licensed BY that state.

    I'll post that letter as well.
    Who cares what BATFE thinks? What do the courts say?

  14. #14
    McX
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    works is a school zone, home is a school zone, is there anywhere that isn't a school zone? besides wyoming?

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    i got a buddy who lives across the street from a school about maybe 50 feet now he can carry open on his private property but cannot leave the property or he would be within the 1000 feet of a school now tell me is this law messed up or what

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    Snowman wrote:
    i got a buddy who lives across the street from a school about maybe 50 feet now he can carry open on his private property but cannot leave the property or he would be within the 1000 feet of a school now tell me is this law messed up or what
    Its worse than that. At least your friend KNOWS he lives within a school zone.

    Now that there are all these "choice schools" and "charter schools" qualifying schools NO LONGER are just the big brick and mortar, flag out front with a big sign that says "Eisenhower Middle School" on them.

    Qualifying schools under the law are in commercial buildings, renovated mansions, Museums and many other shared spaces that DO NOT have identifying signage.

    Of course under the law you have to "knowingly" violate a school zone.

    But do you trust the discretion of the police to BELIEVE you when you say "I didn't know officer" knowing its a FELONY charge?

    Do YOU trust your local judges, some of whom probably don't approve of carrying guns at all to cut you some slack when you say "I didn't know".

    Do YOU want to put your future in the hands of a jury and hope they believe you when you say "I didn't know"?

    And what will the definition of "knowingly" be? Will the law expect you to have researched where schools are? Or is it just good enough if you can't see it. Just because a school doesn't look like a school, will that be enough for the law, or would they say "if you are willing to carry a lethal weapon, shouldn't you have at least taken due care to research where schools are?"

    I don't trust my future to the discretion of police and a jury.
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    i live near 2 schools i took the time to measure them i live .4 miles from 1 school and a little over .2 on the other 1 both outside the 1000 feet

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    i live near 2 schools i took the time to measure them i live .4 miles from 1 school and a little over .2 on the other 1 both outside the 1000 feet

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    From a thread in the Michigan forum:

    Michigander wrote:
    Just for clarification, lil freak is commenting on how the federal gun free school zones act of 1996 exempts those who are licensed to carry by their home states, and act 372 of 1927 defines registration as a license to carry, among other things. There are still a ton of places that you can't carry without that CPL.

    And by the way, on the topic of licenses to carry, as a Michigan resident, an out of state license to carry concealed will give you the right to open carry at all of the criminal empowerment zones that a CPL would exempt you from while open carrying. But remember, you can't carry concealed under these licenses, or in a vehicle. This is a fabulous option for new residents who aren't eligable for CPL's because of not being a resident for 6 months yet, as well as people who are 18-20.Â*
    "I like users who quote smellslikemichigan in their signature lines." - fozzy71

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    Snowman wrote:
    i got a buddy who lives across the street from a school about maybe 50 feet now he can carry open on his private property but cannot leave the property or he would be within the 1000 feet of a school now tell me is this law messed up or what
    That's not good. Which state?

    This has no effect on us here in Virginia provided one has a CHP (doesn't need to be with the person when OC'ing... just has to have been issued).

    In the final seconds of your life, just before your killer is about to dispatch you to that great eternal darkness, what would you rather have in your hand? A cell phone or a gun?

    Si vis pacem, para bellum.

    America First!

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