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Thread: Open carry question about schools?

  1. #1
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    Open carry question about schools?

    Hello everyone, I was just curious about the laws involving schools while open carrying. I know you cant be on school property, but are you also not allowed to be within a certain distance of the school either? I am curious because I live about 200ft away from a public school here in reno and I want to know if it is legal for me to walk down the street while OC. Thanks!
    Last edited by x762; 12-10-2010 at 03:26 AM.

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    I doubt you will get any hassle you for 2 reasons:

    1. Nevada has no such perimeter except the property line of the school. Federal law does have a 1000 ft. perimeter. State and local law enforcement could possibly arrest you on the federal law, but they would have to charge you in federal court, with a federal prosecutor and take you into federal custody. This is a big pain in the ass for local authorities, and they probably wouldn't even know the procedure to follow to make such an arrest. Unless you are the unluckiest person on earth and happen to be seen by a federal law enforcement agent while walking within 1000 feet of a school, you probably have nothing to worry about. Federal agents tend not to just sit around looking for violators like local cops do. If you see them, they tend to handling specific business and are probably not concerned with you.

    2. The constitutionality of the Federal 1000 ft. gun free school zone act is questionable at best. If an arrest is made and charges are filed, it opens the door for a challenge where a high court of the United States could potentially shut it down. Some people in the federal government like having that law on the books, and they know deep down it will not hold up to a fight.

    When real criminals are arrested, they are often charged with several crimes. This gives the prosecution more bargaining chips to work with. Keep in mind a very large number of convictions never come from a trial, they come from plea agreements. Adding a charge of violating the federal GFSZA to say, 2 other counts of assault and battery, means instead of trading one count of A&B for a guilty plea on the other, they can trade one conviction of violating the GFSZ for a guilty plea on 2 counts of A&B. This gets the prosecutor two checks in the win column instead of one, more prison time for the accused, and leaves the federal GFSZ law on the books.

    I'm in the same situation as you, my apartment complex is adjacent to a school, and I've never had any issues walking down the street with my firearm in view while school was letting out for the day. I would recommend not lingering around the area though, no sense asking for trouble.
    Last edited by Nevada carrier; 12-10-2010 at 06:04 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nevada carrier View Post
    I doubt you will get any hassle you for 2 reasons:

    1. Nevada has no such perimeter except the property line of the school. Federal law does have a 1000 ft. perimeter. State and local law enforcement could possibly arrest you on the federal law, but they would have to charge you in federal court, with a federal prosecutor and take you into federal custody. This is a big pain in the ass for local authorities, and they probably wouldn't even know the procedure to follow to make such an arrest. Unless you are the unluckiest person on earth and happen to be seen by a federal law enforcement agent while walking within 1000 feet of a school, you probably have nothing to worry about. Federal agents tend not to just sit around looking for violators like local cops do. If you see them, they tend to handling specific business and are probably not concerned with you.

    2. The constitutionality of the Federal 1000 ft. gun free school zone act is questionable at best. If an arrest is made and charges are filed, it opens the door for a challenge where a high court of the United States could potentially shut it down. Some people in the federal government like having that law on the books, and they know deep down it will not hold up to a fight.

    When real criminals are arrested, they are often charged with several crimes. This gives the prosecution more bargaining chips to work with. Keep in mind a very large number of convictions never come from a trial, they come from plea agreements. Adding a charge of violating the federal GFSZA to say, 2 other counts of assault and battery, means instead of trading one count of A&B for a guilty plea on the other, they can trade one conviction of violating the GFSZ for a guilty plea on 2 counts of A&B. This gets the prosecutor two checks in the win column instead of one, more prison time for the accused, and leaves the federal GFSZ law on the books.

    I'm in the same situation as you, my apartment complex is adjacent to a school, and I've never had any issues walking down the street with my firearm in view while school was letting out for the day. I would recommend not lingering around the area though, no sense asking for trouble.
    Thanks a lot for the quick reply! Helped a lot. I am only 18 years old so when the Police see me with a gun holstered to my hip they think I am up to no good (sadly). So I am trying to avoid any trouble with LEO's. Once again thank you!

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    **I am not a layer and nothing written hear should be taken as a substitute for legal counsel by a licenced attorney in your state**
    Quote Originally Posted by x762 View Post
    Thanks a lot for the quick reply! Helped a lot. I am only 18 years old so when the Police see me with a gun holstered to my hip they think I am up to no good (sadly). So I am trying to avoid any trouble with LEO's. Once again thank you!
    You're young and hopefully, you haven't had much experience with the police, but you need to know how they behave and what to expect when you do, because you will. it's not a matter of if you encounter police, but when. Be prepared for police who mistakenly believe you must be 21 to posses a firearm. This is not so, but many believe it to be the case.

    You age is what police will attempt to exploit when they question you. Their goal is to get you to incriminate yourself, even if you haven't committed a crime. You guilt or Innocence matters not to them, only that they make an arrest and be the guy who gets a gold star for getting the evidence they can hand over that will get a prosecutor a conviction.

    If you are stopped by law enforcement, Respond to every question with "I respectfully decline to answer your questions." Respond to every request for search of your person or property with "I do not consent to being searched." after saying each one of these things, ask "am I now free to go?" You will sound like a broken record, and you will aggravate them to no end. Expect and be prepared to be handcuffed, intimidated with threats of arrest, and prison time. Also expect them to constantly offer to be your savior. They can make all these bad things go away if you just cooperate and tell them what they want to hear. Have a strong mind, constantly say to yourself, "shut up." What they want is evidence, they do not want to be your friend or help you out of a jam.

    Nevada is a one party consent state. this means that to record an encounter with anyone, only one of the parties to the encounter must consent to the recording for it to be admitted into evidence in court. Carry a recorder with you at all times.

    Knowing what your weaknesses and vulnerabilities are actually make you a stronger person. Their weakness is that they will not expect you to know these things and be able to think on your feet, stay cool and collected. they will expect you to be just another street punk with an attitude, and when they don't get what they expect or want, they will probably respond as any childish mind responds when they don't get what they want; with anger and frustration. Bad cops are one thing, but angry and frustrated bad cops are a recipe for danger. be mindful of where you put your hands, do not make sudden movements. From my own experience I can tell you that even if you know you are not guilty of breaking any law, you will be nervous, you may even shake and sweat. You body will instinctively put up defense mechanisms. You will want to fold your arms, scratch your head and face, your eyes will wander and your fidget. You must make a conscious effort to attempt to control these things as much as possible because these things will make them nervous, so now you will have an angry, frustrated and nervous cop. This is a lethal combination.

    Expect the drama team, they will get backup and supervisors if they are not effectively getting what they want from you, they will over inflate the situation, and they will lie to you to get what they want. The Law doesn't require that the police tell the truth to elicit information or evidence from a suspect. remember, You have nothing to fear because you haven't broken any laws, they won't have any evidence against you, answering questions only serves to manufacture evidence that may be fallacious, or circumstantial, but if you don't give it to them, it's one less thing your lawyer has to argue in court if it comes to that.

    Do not argue with police! It solves nothing. Court rooms are for arguments to be heard, and lawyers are for making arguments. I suggest that you save about $2500 and put a lawyer on retainer. After you have done that, Save another $2500 for a rainy day fund. It's good to have money for when the sky falls, and when you have to front 10% of a $25,000 bond, it will be worth it. An okay attorney will charge you about $150 an hour so your retainer gets you a little over 16 hours of service, this will not cover a trail, it will likely get you no farther than a motion to suppress hearing. That's about what my legal fees added up to at the point of a motion to suppress hearing. So expect that if you go all the way to a jury verdict to be about $10,000 in legal fees.

    Sometimes it is more cost effective to take a plea agreement, this is where prosecutors try to get something else from you that may haunt you for the rest of your life, your RKBA. Never plea guilty to any lesser included offense that will require that you surrender your right to bear arms. That right must be taken by a guilty verdict handed down from a jury. Prosecutors often attempt to offer you very lenient plea offers if their is a case where they know your arrest was so libelous that it could result in civil damages. Usually by accepting a deal, you forfeit your right to bring civil charges. so if the crime you are charged with carries a penalty of 10 years in prison and they come at you with an offer for a disorderly conduct that only requires you pay something like a $250 fine, think long and hard before you take it.

    I know I just strayed way beyond the scope of the OT, but I thought these insights may be of some value to someone of your youth, I know I would have liked to have known then what I know now.

    **I am not a layer and nothing written hear should be taken as a substitute for legal counsel by a licenced attorney in your state**
    Last edited by Nevada carrier; 12-10-2010 at 09:45 AM.

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    The bottom line:

    1) Anything you DON'T say CANNOT be used against you in a court of law -- tell the officer "I am invoking my right to remain silent, may I leave now?" to EVERY attempt to get you to speak about ANYTHING other that giving your name. Don't tell them where you are going, where you have come from, don't talk about your pistol, don't say anything other than your name (when asked) and the phrase quoted above. If you are arrested, tell them "I want an attorney" and nothing else.

    2) If you are NOT under arrest, you cannot be searched without your permission -- if you consent (or are arrested), they can search you COMPLETELY, and consent cannot be limited or revoked once you give it.

    3) You MUST NEVER NEVER NEVER touch your pistol while the cops are talking to you -- if it is in the holster, LEAVE it in the holster EVEN IF THEY DEMAND THAT YOU GIVE IT TO THEM OR PUT IT DOWN. If you are arrested, let the officer remove the pistol.

    4) If you draw their attention SOLELY for being armed, unless you give them something to suspect they have a case, they will lose interest and leave (probably after some dire warnings and advice).

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    Keep in mind though Nevada law does PROHIBIT you even being on the parking lot or other public or private school grounds with a firearm. Even if its in your trunk locked in a safe and you park on the school grounds they can charge you. Just stay on the sidewalk area.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vegassteve View Post
    Keep in mind though Nevada law does PROHIBIT you even being on the parking lot or other public or private school grounds with a firearm. Even if its in your trunk locked in a safe and you park on the school grounds they can charge you. Just stay on the sidewalk area.
    and don't linger.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nevada carrier View Post
    and don't linger.
    And loitering "near" a school is illegal even when you are unarmed, per NRS 393.410, but loitering "near" a school when you are armed has a higher penalty. What "near" means however, I do not know.

    NRS 393.410 Damage to school property; nuisance; loitering; trespass; penalties.
    1. It is unlawful for any person:
    (a) Willfully and maliciously to injure, mark or deface any public schoolhouse, its fixtures, books or appurtenances;
    (b) To commit any nuisance in any public schoolhouse;
    (c) To loiter on or near the school grounds; or
    (d) Purposely and maliciously to commit any trespass upon the grounds attached to a public schoolhouse, or any fixtures placed thereon, or any enclosure or sidewalk about the same.
    2. Except as otherwise provided in subsection 3, any person violating any of the provisions of this section is guilty of a public offense, as prescribed in NRS 193.155, proportionate to the value of the property damaged or destroyed and in no event less than a misdemeanor.
    3. Any person who is in possession of a dangerous weapon during his or her commission of a violation of paragraph (b), (c) or (d) of subsection 1 is guilty of a gross misdemeanor.
    4. As used in this section:
    (a) “Dangerous knife” means a knife having a blade that is 2 inches or more in length when measured from the tip of the knife which is customarily sharpened to the unsharpened extension of the blade which forms the hinge connecting the blade to the handle.
    (b) “Dangerous weapon” means:
    (1) An explosive or incendiary device;
    (2) A dirk, dagger, switchblade knife or dangerous knife;
    (3) A nunchaku or trefoil;
    (4) A blackjack or billy club or metal knuckles; or
    (5) A pistol, revolver or other firearm.
    (c) “Explosive or incendiary device” has the meaning ascribed to it in NRS 202.253.
    (d) “Nunchaku” has the meaning ascribed to it in NRS 202.350.
    (e) “Switchblade knife” has the meaning ascribed to it in NRS 202.350.
    (f) “Trefoil” has the meaning ascribed to it in NRS 202.350.
    [415:32:1956]—(NRS A 1967, 567; 1993, 40; 2001, 807)
    Last edited by Felid`Maximus; 12-10-2010 at 06:11 PM.

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    Thank you to everyone for your kind responses. I have been learning about how to act with police encounters I have gotten advice from you guys and many others. I believe I am ready for when I am confronted by an LEO. Very much appreciated everyone! I will start a new thread about my experiences whenever I really have one. Thanks!

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    carry a recorder, this will give credibility when you lodge a complaint for police or official misconduct.

    One thing I forgot to mention is that the police will often claim that they have to ensure that you are legally allowed to posses a firearm, this is a lie! In the United States, you are innocent until proven guilty. They have the burden of proof if they suspect you are unlawfully armed. You do not have to prove your innocence to them or anyone else.

    If they try this tactic with you tell them, "I have nothing to prove to you. If you have evidence that I have broken any laws, charge me, if you do not, let me go."

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nevada carrier View Post
    carry a recorder, this will give credibility when you lodge a complaint for police or official misconduct.

    One thing I forgot to mention is that the police will often claim that they have to ensure that you are legally allowed to posses a firearm, this is a lie! In the United States, you are innocent until proven guilty. They have the burden of proof if they suspect you are unlawfully armed. You do not have to prove your innocence to them or anyone else.

    If they try this tactic with you tell them, "I have nothing to prove to you. If you have evidence that I have broken any laws, charge me, if you do not, let me go."
    I am working on getting a small camera that will fit in my shirt pocket, so it can record the situation without me actually holding on to it. One last question, Do I legally have to give my name or age if asked? or do they have to have reasonable suspicion to ask for my ID, name, and age? I of course wouldn't give them any hassle and tell them my age and name, but I value my privacy and don't like to have to give my ID to anyone, including police officers. Unless of course I am driving, in which I obviously have to give it to them.

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    Quote Originally Posted by x762 View Post
    I am working on getting a small camera that will fit in my shirt pocket, so it can record the situation without me actually holding on to it. One last question, Do I legally have to give my name or age if asked? or do they have to have reasonable suspicion to ask for my ID, name, and age? I of course wouldn't give them any hassle and tell them my age and name, but I value my privacy and don't like to have to give my ID to anyone, including police officers. Unless of course I am driving, in which I obviously have to give it to them.
    See, now there's a catch 22. The law says you only have to identify yourself by stating your name, nothing more. No address, SSN, DOB etc., is required. But the law also only requires you to do so when an Officer has Reasonable and Articulable Suspicion. The catch is this, cops don't have to articulate their suspicion to you, only in a court of law.

    It's risky to refuse to give your name, and I don't like it, but I would only verbally state my name; First, middle and last. You do not have to spell it for them either. Now also, if you are driving, you must produce a driver's license on demand, so no way around that, but if you're not driving, only state your name.

    Audio recorders are more efficient, because video recorders that are compact enough to do what you suggest will have far less storage capacity and battery life. Audio recorders often voice activate, saving you both storage and battery life. Just be sure at some point in an encounter to audibly get the officer's name on the recording, badge number and car number is good too. Having a recorder that activates automatically is good because you don't want to alert an officer to the fact that they are being recorded by fumbling with something they can not see that's on your person, this makes them nervous. Being aware that they are being recorded will change their behavior. If they're a bad cop, they have to be caught red handed while they are up to no good. Basically, we're turning the tables on them with their own tactics. The reason one party consent was created was so surveillance evidence gathered by police could be admitted in court. If both parties must consent, they can't record suspects and then use it against them.

    Don't take this to mean that our goal is to trick cops into violating our rights. we just want to use ingenuity and strategy to catch the ones that are already bad in the act.
    Last edited by Nevada carrier; 12-10-2010 at 10:50 PM.

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