A Sign I've Never Noticed Before


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Dorryn
February 26, 2007, 01:31 PM
On my way home from work the other day, while trying to find a parking spot on the street, I saw a sign ive never noticed before. When I saw it, I examined other nearby telephone poles, and noticed another. It was a small white sign with a revolver in a crossed out circle, and the words "Drug Free, Gun Free School Zone". Im fairly certain that somehow, in the year that ive lived here, ive just never noticed them before and that theyre not new.

The problem is, I live within this "School Zone" and, obviously, I have quite a few guns. Im not really sure if, under Federal law, i am not allowed to have a firearm within a certain distance of a school. I had no idea I was, but I doubt that would matter to an anti. Which brings up another question: Since I wish to comply with the law, should a gun owner such as myself be forced to move only into areas that are not within a certain radius of a school district? Much as I resent the implication that guns are as undesirable as drugs or child molestors, :fire: I dont want to be the test case that the law gets challenged under in the courts.

Its a moot point, really, because im moving in a week or so, so I wont be living in the Gun Free School Zone anymore. However, im sure there are other people who dont know they live in the zone and possess guns, and im sure there are people who dont care. The signs are fairly small and mounted fairly high up. I was just hoping someone here on THR could expound on their meaning, whether theyre as innocuous as a Neighborhood Watch sign or a federal law with which I need to comply.

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The Grand Inquisitor
February 26, 2007, 02:07 PM
This is a really good question that gets answered differently every time it gets asked.

A friend and I came upon this question a few years ago when we realized that when we drove to the range we were right next to the local high school. This is in a community with a "gun free area" around its school, which extends to about a mile or so.

We would have just driven around the school, but because it was a rural area, there was no practical means of doing so (that didn't mean literally leaving the state by driving along a bunch of farm roads) so we were forced to drive by the school with our evil tools of satan.

I never felt the need to pull over a local cop and inform him that we had lots of guns and ammo and let him know that we were driving through the school zone, but I've asked plenty of people about it and no one really knows the true answer.

General Geoff
February 26, 2007, 02:11 PM
the signs, at least in my state, do not address law abiding gun owners and concealed carry permit holders. I have to drive past a middle school on my way to a local range, and never thought twice about it. Hell, I've had 6 guns in my Jeep, driving past the school, right around 3:00pm when all the kids were getting out and loitering around the area. Never really concerned me, so long as I don't get out and start waving them around.

DoubleTapDrew
February 26, 2007, 02:13 PM
This is in a community with a "gun free area" around its school, which extends to about a mile or so.

I'm sure that's comforting to a BG that wants to go shoot up a school. "Don't worry, there isn't an armed person around for miles" :banghead:

Jorg Nysgerrig
February 26, 2007, 02:27 PM
There was a federal law enacted in 1990 regarding this, it was smacked down as being unconstitutioal in 1995. In 1996, it was redone, under the guise of interstate commerce.

Look under 18 USC 922 (q) for more information how it currently stands. Private property is exempt, among other things.

Unless there is a state law, I wouldn't worry about it. However, I am not a lawyer and I strongly encourage you to seek professional legal advice from a member of the Bar in your state.

Zero_DgZ
February 26, 2007, 03:17 PM
As I understood it in my state, it pertains to the school property itself but not the road out front.

PennsyPlinker
February 26, 2007, 05:15 PM
the signs, at least in my state, do not address law abiding gun owners and concealed carry permit holders. I have to drive past a middle school on my way to a local range, and never thought twice about it.

So GG, pray tell, where is this local range at which you shoot? I shoot mostly in Topton, I'm always looking for new places to go.

Robert Hairless
February 26, 2007, 06:35 PM
Those signs are the community's way to inform people who want to shoot up the kids that they can do so without worrying about being injured by people with guns. It's a noble gesture. That's why school shootings are so popular.

RH822
February 26, 2007, 06:45 PM
In Indiana the actual "gun free zone" applies to school owned property or venues where school functions are taking place. Sidewalks, roadways and properties adjacent to the school are not affected. Plus, you allowed to go on to school property with a firearm as long as you are there to drop off or pick up another party and you do not get out of your vehicle. Doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me, but that's the way it is.

RH

bogie
February 26, 2007, 07:10 PM
All it does is lay another potential charge on top of whatever else... If you have an armed pervert, he'll do more time. Armed drug dealer, he'll do more time. Armed terrorist, he'll have to blow himself up twice...

WayneConrad
February 26, 2007, 07:29 PM
There are two federal gun-free school-zone acts. The first was struck down by SCOTUS because it was... get this... not regulating interstate commerce. It was a bit of a landmark decision. This is the same court that thinks that growing grain for your own livestock is interstate commerce. So it was a bit amazing for them to decide that something wasn't interstate commerce.

So congress passed the same law again, pretty much, adding some words about how the persecutor... I mean prosecutor... must show that the gun had something to do with interstate commerce. Or something. I forget the particulars, because the particulars--as with so much of what congress does--don't make a whole lot of sense. Senseless things don't stick well in my brain.

As far as I know, nobody's been charged under the reincarnated act. But it's not like there's a central database of People Charged With The Scaring Of School Marms, so it's hard to know.

Also, a CCW license gives you a pass. With a CCW, you can drive by the school and not be a felon, per the reincarnated, rarely-to-never-enforced Gun Free School Zone Act.

And then there is state law. Which applies even if there is (or isn't) a rarely-to-never-enforced federal Gun Free School Zone Act.

Is "Byzantine" the word I'm looking for? It might be. Much of my useful knowledge (such as what "Byzantine" means) has been pushed aside in favor of what it takes to perhaps, with luck, survive the sword of Damocles that is our law.

bogie
February 26, 2007, 07:38 PM
If you home school, can they kick in your door, shoot your kid, shoot your wife, and then kick your kitty to death?

Risasi
February 26, 2007, 07:41 PM
I see you are in NY, I am not. As Jorg said, plus I will add my own experience. I used to service schools, computer work. Also city and state building, including police departments. Many times I possessed a firearm on their premises. The thing is I didn't carry them on me, they were stashed away, concealed in my trunk. Sometimes I would be at schools servicing equipment and leave straight from there for a weekend in the country. The state laws here (or used to be anyway) exempt private land, and that includes your private vehicle. So I didn't worry about it. And some staff knew, some didn't. This was as of 2004.

I also used to carry a 3" folder by CRKT. It was a tool I used all the time. Prying stuff, using as a screw driver, opening boxes, etc. Everybody knew I carried that. Even students.
I'll never forget the time I was in a class fixing a faculty machine and this county officer (woman, about 5'6", 300lb) was teaching the class about the evils of gangs. And only she was allowed to be armed, and her .40 S&W was "soo great". Then one of the kids (who obviously knew I had a knife), piped up and asked what about staff carrying weapons. The cop chick then proceeded to tell the student body that person would be arrested, nobody but LEO is allowed to be armed, etc. I was within about three feet of this woman, and she would have been dead before drawing her gun if I were really a Bad Guy. Just so you know, I had full permission of the super for that school district to carry this knife, and I made no point of trying to hide the fact that I carried such a very useful tool.


Funny too, I also knew another old school superintendent who used to start track races with a little .38 snub nose. He said in twenty years he got caught once by a parent. He said they gave him a sly grin and that was that. But the times they are a changin'.

I guess I realize stupid laws like these are just that, stupid laws. And people are sheep. And it sure doesn't look like the herd is getting any thinner. Check local and state laws, but you should be fine just passing by a school.

Walkalong
February 26, 2007, 07:43 PM
I have seen the signs and they are living in a make believe world.

Phaetos
February 26, 2007, 07:43 PM
In Louisiana, it's well thought out actually. There is a 500' "free zone" around every school. If your property, ie house, is within that 500', you are protected under the Louisiana law that says you can have weapons in your home for protection. And since your vehicle is considered an extension of you home in La., having the guns in your car as you pass thru this "free zone", you are also covered.

the naked prophet
February 26, 2007, 08:13 PM
I made a map of a representative town in Missouri, showing a 1000 foot circle around the center and each corner of the schools. It's a big file though, beware.

http://web.umr.edu/~ikellogg/GFSZ-Rolla.jpg

Note that there are no roads which pass through Rolla that do not pass 1000 feet within a school. There are others, but since I pass through Rolla fairly frequently, I kept this one. The CCW permit exemption only applies to those with a CCW from the state in which the school is located. I don't have a MO permit, due to concerns when driving through Illinois (since an IL FOID is "reasonable suspicion" to get a car search, if the IL police run my MO drivers license and find my CCW they could search my car, permission or not), and thus I am violating federal law every time I drive through a town (or even the interstate).

rickomatic
February 26, 2007, 08:20 PM
We should mandate that those signs be put up on the front lawn of every anti-gun politician out there. Let's start with the Brady's home. THAT should make them feel safe.

panther22
February 26, 2007, 08:30 PM
I live in Mo., and I live across the street from an elementary school. Monday is my regular day off and it's a day I try to get out and shoot, when I can. I always try to be very careful about taking my guns out to the car. I don't want to attract attention.
This is a small town with strong hunting and shooting traditions, but we have alot of young teachers that are fresh out of universities in Springfield and Columbia. They haven't been out of school long enough to know what things are like in the real world.

CajunBass
February 26, 2007, 08:44 PM
Every time I see one of those signs, (around here I've only seen "Drug Free School Zone" ones) I have this mental image of a drug dealer snapping his fingers and saying "Darn. I was going to set up shop here too. I guess I'll go get a job instead." :rolleyes:

kirkcdl
February 26, 2007, 08:53 PM
Kinda like the Post Office not showing the subsection that explains who can carry legally on their property...:banghead:

Aguila Blanca
February 26, 2007, 09:03 PM
Kinda like the Post Office not showing the subsection that explains who can carry legally on their property...
This was a trick post, right?

'Cause the answer is that nobody except on-duty LEO can carry in a postal facility. If you believe otherwise, look up the most recent issue (or maybe one before, now) of Shotgun News and read "The Knox Report."

kirkcdl
February 26, 2007, 09:31 PM
Well, I wasn't trying to do any tricks,but the next time you're in a Post Office,note the exact section of the US Criminal Code the sign refers to,and go read the ENTIRE thing.The PO conveniently omits a subsection that specifically lists the exceptions to the prohibition of firearms.I don't want to hijack this thread,so just do the research.Here's a link to a relevant article:http://www.thegunzone.com/rkba/rtc-usps.html

I've been employed by the Postal Service for over 20 years,and I have a gun-friendly Postmaster,we've been shooting together more than a few times,so I've had an opportunity to explore this subject to great lengths....That doesn't make me an expert by anybodys definition,but I have read the statutes quite thoroughly...;)

M2 Carbine
February 26, 2007, 09:34 PM
bogie
If you home school, can they kick in your door, shoot your kid, shoot your wife, and then kick your kitty to death?

Yes they can.
Remember Waco, Texas?


In Texas you can carry your gun up to the school door.

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