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How does Vermont get around the Federal Gun Free School Zone law?

paul@paul-fisher.com

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From what I understand, the Federal GFSZ law basically says if you have a license from your state to carry a firearm, you are exempt from the law.

Since VT has Constitutional Carry and has never issued permits, how do you guys carry within 1000' feet of a school?

Thanks!


--Moderator Note--
Edited title for clarification. In this case the original "VT" refers to Vermont.
 

Thundar

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The law was ruled unconstitutional once by SCOTUS because it had no relation to interstate commerce. It was reenacted with a statement that guns around schools does have an effect upon interstate commerce.

It is not enforced because everybody knows it is unconstitutional.

The real problem is that what is ultimately constitutional is what 5 people in black robes say is constitutional. The minority opinion in McDonald is chilling. Those 4 justices did not accept Heller as binding. They will overturn it if given a chance.

All it takes is a heart attack, a stroke or an automobile accident from one of the 5 pro gun supreme court justices for gun rights to be severely damaged.

Dormant unconstitutional laws such as the GFSZA are a real threat, not because they can be used against gun owners now, but because they will be used against gun owners when the make up of the supreme court changes.
 

Snazuolu

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this thread really confused me. I live in Va near Va Tech an as far as i am aware, NO college in my area allows guns to be carried on campus. we have all kinds of colleges near me and not one allows any type of carrying on campus. Lynchburg college, liberty univ, va tech, averett,Lord knows how many community colleges, sweet brier, randolph, and plenty more. most all of the schools have signs saying specifically no guns including none that are stored in yoru car.
 

paul@paul-fisher.com

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I refuse to be drawn into a argument about grammar and correct usage of abbreviations. I think it incumbent on any writer to do his best to help the reader, who may not have the extensive education, literary experience or knowledge of USPS regs. of the writer, understand his meaning. As we can see from this thread a wee bit of ambiguity slipped into this one. If anyone insists on using US Postal Service abbreviations I recommend they include the zip code for clarity.
Whatever. Why would anyone in their right mind ask a question about Virginia Tech in the VERMONT forum? Also, why would I ask a question about a college when GFSZ regulations (do I need to explain that one as well) have nothing to do with colleges?
 

DrTodd

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Hudsonville , Michigan, USA
I refuse to be drawn into a argument about grammar and correct usage of abbreviations. I think it incumbent on any writer to do his best to help the reader, who may not have the extensive education, literary experience or knowledge of USPS regs. of the writer, understand his meaning. As we can see from this thread a wee bit of ambiguity slipped into this one. If anyone insists on using US Postal Service abbreviations I recommend they include the zip code for clarity.
I live in Michigan (MI) and we get confused with Montana (MT)... why not use the pre-zip abbreviations which are actually correct? The postal abbreviations are for mailing purposes. The only downside is Vermont postal abbreviation is VT and the pre-zip abbreviation is Vt.. Oh well, just a thought...
 

rickc1962

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How did everyone get from GFSZs to ZIP codes? Even tho in states that believe in a citizens right to exercize the 2nd Amendment, BIG BRO. could enforce GFSZ or anyother law, if thay choose to, the same way the Obama Admen. said thay would arrest people in Cal. for weed, even if Cal. voters made it legal. There are legal ways we can fight this, 1st. invoke the 10th. Amendment, 2nd. stop sending any money, in the name of taxes to the Federal Government, ( we only get about 10 cents out of every dallar back anyway ), 3rd. put the Federal Government on notice that if thay were to send Feds into our states in a intimidateding way, the Sheriff of what ever county thay were in would arrest them and put them in jail, if the Sheriff did not have enough force them he could deputize as meny law abiding gun owners as he would need, if still not enough the Govenor of the state could invoke the first part of the 2nd Amendment, and gather all state law abiding citizens together as the Unorganized Militia. If all 50 states would stand up to the Federal Government, we would no longer worry about GFSZs or anyother unconstitutional laws.
 
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phred

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Back to Vermont

From what I understand, the Federal GFSZ law basically says if you have a license from your state to carry a firearm, you are exempt from the law.

Since VT has Constitutional Carry and has never issued permits, how do you guys carry within 1000' feet of a school?

Thanks!
Is there anybody from Vermont that has experience in this issue that can answer Paul's question? Please, we're from Wisconsin and we make maple syrup too. Help us out.

Is it an issue? Has anybody been arrested or hassled for carrying openly or concealed in a GFSZ?
 

MKEgal

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in front of my computer, WI
paul@paul-fisher.com said:
Why would anyone in their right mind ask a question about Virginia Tech in the VERMONT forum?
Also, why would I ask a question about a college when GFSZ regulations (do I need to explain that one as well) have nothing to do with colleges?
+1

phred said:
we're from Wisconsin and we make maple syrup too
LOL!

I like the idea about declaring that all adults (nonfelons, etc.) are members of the state militia.
I like better the Montana (IIRC) law that simply says "for the purposes of the federal GFSZ Act, all are licensed to carry". (No that's not the exact wording.)
 
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jpm84092

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I can't help but notice that this thread has responses, but none of them came from a Vermont (VT) resident. (If one is to believe the poster's bio information shown.)

I have checked Vermont (VT) law and find that Title 13 Chapter 85:4003 makes it unlawful for a person to possess a firearm "on any school property including vehicles". The website www.handgunlaw.us interprets this as being inside a building, not merely on the grounds. (I have not verified this.)

I too would like to hear how VT Citizens handle the Federal GFSZ. One poster suggested that the Federal Statute would only be used as a penalty enhancer, but his bio did not indicate that he/she was from Vermont.

And yes, I live in Utah, but I have a "dog in this fight". I am from Wisconsin and have been working from afar to help WI change their concealed carry law from "right denied" to "constitutional carry" (Like AK, AZ and VT = meaning Vermont, not Virginia Tech).
 

KBCraig

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I can't help but notice that this thread has responses, but none of them came from a Vermont (VT) resident. (If one is to believe the poster's bio information shown.)

I have checked Vermont (VT) law and find that Title 13 Chapter 85:4003 makes it unlawful for a person to possess a firearm "on any school property including vehicles". The website www.handgunlaw.us interprets this as being inside a building, not merely on the grounds. (I have not verified this.)

I too would like to hear how VT Citizens handle the Federal GFSZ. One poster suggested that the Federal Statute would only be used as a penalty enhancer, but his bio did not indicate that he/she was from Vermont.
I think what it boils down to, is that it's just not an issue in VT. People from VT aren't here participating, because they mostly just don't have any issues: they just carry, and that is that.

I keep up with the news from northern New England, and I can only recall one case, from about 4-5 years ago, where someone was charged with having a gun on a school campus in VT. I don't remember the particulars, other than that he was being actively pursued by LE for another crime, and jumped the fence to an elementary school and ran into (and I think briefly hid in) the school building.

My "dog in this fight" is that I'm moving to NH, and depending on which part of Coös County I land in, I'll either be just a few miles, or just a few yards, from VT (or ME). NH is pretty skinny that far north, so it pays to know all three states' laws.

NH, by the way, also doesn't have an exemption to the FGFSZA, because licensees don't undergo a background check. NH has no laws against carrying on campus or inside school buildings. How does NH "get around it"? Nobody cares, just the same as VT.

Nobody has ever been charged under the federal law unless they were also doing something that brought the feds into it, like dealing drugs in a school zone. The odds of a local or state LEO referring a gun possession case to the feds, when it doesn't violate state laws and there are no other violations in play, are simply miniscule. Could they? Sure. Would the feds pursue it? Possibly, but not likely.

If the feds pursued it and won a conviction, it would open up a new challenge to the post-Lopez modification of GFSZA. Absent other federal violations, they'd probably lose, and they don't want to lose that carrot when it comes to carrot-and-stick plea bargain negotiations. GFSZA charges are always an add-on charge, something they settle for when the defendant agrees to a plea bargain.
 

Anubis

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I too would like to hear how VT Citizens handle the Federal GFSZ.
They don't handle it.

To legally pass through a "school zone" (defined in USC title 18 part 1 chapter 44 section 921) with a firearm, section 922 requires that one must be "licensed" (not defined in 921) by the state containing the school zone. Assuming that means a CC license, there's no such thing as a Vermont CC license, and if a Vermonter has, say, a Florida CC license, that doesn't work either.

If you think the BATFE will never decide to enforce 922, you trust them a lot more than I do.
 
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paul@paul-fisher.com

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OK, we have heard from all sorts of states but no one who actually lives in VT. I guess it must not be a problem then.

MT has some wording in their laws that basically says that if you are a resident of MT, you are assumed to have been issued a license that is compatible with the Federal GFSZ.

So far, that hasn't been challenged in Federal court.
 

AZkopper

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Jun 19, 2008
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Prescott, Arizona, USA
Well, AZ allows for unrestricted Open Carry, and nowadays for unrestricted Conceal Carry. AZ has no GFSZ law. The only law is that a gun on a school campus must be unloaded and out of sight in a locked vehicle.

Local and state officials have no interest in enforcing the federal GFSZ law. We just ignore it. Now there is a bill in the State Legislature that basically states that if you are legally able to own a gun in AZ, you are 'deemed' licensed by the state for purposes of the federal GFSZ--just so the feds can't come in and enforce it on us.
 

phred

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Well, AZ allows for unrestricted Open Carry, and nowadays for unrestricted Conceal Carry. AZ has no GFSZ law. The only law is that a gun on a school campus must be unloaded and out of sight in a locked vehicle.

Local and state officials have no interest in enforcing the federal GFSZ law. We just ignore it. Now there is a bill in the State Legislature that basically states that if you are legally able to own a gun in AZ, you are 'deemed' licensed by the state for purposes of the federal GFSZ--just so the feds can't come in and enforce it on us.
Thanks, this is good to know. Could you give the number of the bill or a reference to it that we could look at it and see what the pertinent language is?
 

AZkopper

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Prescott, Arizona, USA
Here it is, AZ House Bill HB2392:

http://www.azleg.gov/FormatDocument.asp?inDoc=/legtext/50leg/1r/bills/hb2392p.htm


State of Arizona
House of Representatives
Fiftieth Legislature
First Regular Session
2011

HB 2392

Introduced by Representatives Seel, Gowan, Smith D, Stevens: Ash, Barton, Burges, Court, Crandell, Dial, Fillmore, Gray R, Harper, Judd, Kavanagh, Mesnard, Montenegro, Olson, Ugenti, Urie, Yee, Senators Biggs, Gould


AN ACT
amending title 13, chapter 31, Arizona Revised Statutes, by adding section 13-3121; relating to firearms.


Be it enacted by the Legislature of the State of Arizona:

Section 1. Title 13, chapter 31, Arizona Revised Statutes, is amended by adding section 13-3121, to read:

START_STATUTE
13-3121. Firearm possession; outside the grounds of a school

For the purposes of 18 United States Code section 922, a person who lawfully owns or possesses a firearm pursuant to the constitution and laws of this state is considered by this state to be individually licensed and verified to possess a firearm immediately outside the grounds of a school.

END_STATUTE
 
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