Texas Church Carry - Weekday School...Legal?


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youngda9
February 25, 2011, 02:56 PM
I know that per the TX law it is not illegal to carry in a church unless it is posted with a 30.06 sign.

I am traveling to TX and will be attending a wedding on a Saturday at a church that provides pre-school and kindergarden during the week.

I am un-sure if it is legal to conceal carry there due to the weekly school.

I don't know how to tell if it meets the definition of a "school" in TX...for example they may not be state accredited and thus defined as a "school" with the state since they are a faith based ministry.

Is it a "church" on the weekend or is it always considered a "school".

Can someone help me here?

The website of the church in question: http://trinity-first.org/weekday.html

Their website states at the bottom that they are NAEYC accredited. Not sure that meets the state definition of a "school" since it is a national accreditation...basically gives a set of standards that they abide by.

I have searched the following in an attempt to determine if this meets the definition of a "school" of a "Church":
Texas Education Agency (http://mansfield.tea.state.tx.us/TEA.AskTED.Web/Forms/Home.aspx)
Texas Alliance of Accredited Private Schools (http://taaps.org/)

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hirundo82
February 25, 2011, 03:06 PM
There is no definition of "school" in Texas law. If a building is a school, it is off limits at all times, not just while students are present. This also comes up with churches that rent school buildings for Sunday services--those services are off-limits too.

From the link you posted, I would say it is pretty obviously off limits. They charge tuition and are accredited by a national organization (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NAEYC), so I would say it is definitely a school.

Per Texas law, you would be OK leaving your gun in the car. Buildings, and parts of the property where school activities are being conducted at the time, are the only parts of the school off limits.

youngda9
February 25, 2011, 03:11 PM
If it is a "school" will it be posted as such, is there a requirement to be posted? Will there be a 30.06 sign?

I would think they would be required to post a sign since from the outside since it definetly looks like a church. You wouldn't know it was considered a school unless you'd been to their website or went inside and found literature stating they had school there during the week.

Sam1911
February 25, 2011, 03:27 PM
TX law isn't your problem here. This is: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gun-Free_School_Zones_Act_of_1990

Unless you are specifically licensed by the state of TX (not simply carrying on your home state's permit via reciprocity) then you cannot go within 1,000 feet of a school.

The licensed exemption reads thus:

(ii) if the individual possessing the firearm is licensed to do so by the State in which the school zone is located or a political subdivision of the State, and the law of the State or political subdivision requires that, before an individual obtains such a license, the law enforcement authorities of the State or political subdivision verify that the individual is qualified under law to receive the license;

The definition of a "school" is:

Definitions Title 18 U.S.C. §921(25) The term “school zone” means— (A) in, or on the grounds of, a public, parochial or private school; or (B) within a distance of 1,000 feet from the grounds of a public, parochial or private school. (26) The term “school” means a school which provides elementary or secondary education, as determined under State law.

If this school provides Kindergarten, that's elementary education.

I'd say this one's a "no."

Guillermo
February 26, 2011, 11:29 AM
Assuming that you have a concealed carry permit that is recognized by Texas the answer is as follows.

While churches are specifically mentioned as places that you cannot carry but they MUST put the 30.06 sign if they want to disallow concealed carry. (I know, it is stupid...kind of like we must tell a cop that we are carrying during a traffic stop but there is no punishment if you don't...:confused:)

Inside the BUILDING of a school is always off limits. (the grounds are not)

The school, which is a place where carry is forbidden, is probably not where the services will be held. It appears as though they have a stand alone church. (I did a Google Earth street view. Didn't see a 30.06 sign on the outside of the building)

My guess is that if you are properly licensed you will be able to carry int he church. If you get there and inside the doors there is a 30.06 you will have to return to the car and lock your weapon up.

Please note, I am not a lawyer, I have never played one on TV and if I were to ever become a lawyer I would expect to be stoned to death. I am a CC licensee and recently renewed so I am familiar with the law.

Sam1911
February 26, 2011, 01:19 PM
Assuming that you have a concealed carry permit that is recognized by Texas the answer is as follows.If your only concern is the CHURCH.

If that church building is less than 1,000 feet from the building where they hold kindergarten classes, then he'll need more than a permit recognized by TX. He'd have to have a permit ISSUED by TX (and meeting the other requirements) or be in violation of the federal GFSZA.

Guillermo
February 26, 2011, 01:41 PM
Sam,

So you are saying that an out of state licensee can not carry in the same places that a Texas licensee can?

If that is in fact what you are saying I think that you are incorrect. Since you are often right I will send an email to a couple of Texas CCL instructors that I know so as to clear this up.

Sam1911
February 26, 2011, 04:56 PM
Check the links on the FEDERAL Gun Free School Zone Act. It isn't just a TX thing. You cannot carry in, to, or within 1,000 feet of any primary or secondary educational school unless you have a license or permit -- ISSUED BY the state where that school is located -- which meets the specific criteria listed under the GFSZA.

So, I hold PA and UT permits. I can carry in 37 states or so, based on those permits, however, I can't carry in, to, or within 1,000 feet of a school in any state but PA and UT (even if other states' laws would otherwise allow it), because of the federal law on the matter.

Guillermo
February 26, 2011, 07:22 PM
if this is correct one cannot drive within 3 blocks of a school

Sam1911
February 27, 2011, 08:52 AM
It is how the law is written, and that exact argument has been made many times before. Heck, what if you live next door to a school?

In practicality, the 1,000 feet part of it has not been enforced almost ever (that I know of) as it would be almost impossible to do so unless you're being detained/searched for some other reason.

Still, there's the law: 18 U.S.C. § 922 : US Code - Section 922
(2)(A) It shall be unlawful for any individual knowingly to possess a firearm that has moved in or that otherwise affects interstate or foreign commerce at a place that the individual knows, or has reasonable cause to believe, is a school zone.
(B) Subparagraph (A) does not apply to the possession of a firearm -
(i) on private property not part of school grounds;
(ii) if the individual possessing the firearm is licensed to do so by the State in which the school zone is located or a political subdivision of the State, and the law of the State or
political subdivision requires that, before an individual obtains such a license, the law enforcement authorities of the State or political subdivision verify that the individual is qualified under law to receive the license;
(iii) that is -
(I) not loaded; and
(II) in a locked container, or a locked firearms rack that is on a motor vehicle;
(iv) by an individual for use in a program approved by a school in the school zone;
(v) by an individual in accordance with a contract entered into between a school in the school zone and the individual or an employer of the individual;
(vi) by a law enforcement officer acting in his or her official capacity; or
(vii) that is unloaded and is possessed by an individual while traversing school premises for the purpose of gaining access to public or private lands open to hunting, if the entry on school premises is authorized by school authorities.

Sam1911
February 27, 2011, 08:52 AM
It is how the law is written, and that exact argument has been made many times before. Heck, what if you live next door to a school?

In practicality, the 1,000 feet part of it has not been enforced almost ever (that I know of) as it would be almost impossible to do so unless you're being detained/searched for some other reason.

Still, there's the law: 18 U.S.C. § 922 : US Code - Section 922
(2)(A) It shall be unlawful for any individual knowingly to possess a firearm that has moved in or that otherwise affects interstate or foreign commerce at a place that the individual knows, or has reasonable cause to believe, is a school zone.
(B) Subparagraph (A) does not apply to the possession of a firearm -
(i) on private property not part of school grounds;
(ii) if the individual possessing the firearm is licensed to do so by the State in which the school zone is located or a political subdivision of the State, and the law of the State or political subdivision requires that, before an individual obtains such a license, the law enforcement authorities of the State or political subdivision verify that the individual is qualified under law to receive the license;
(iii) that is -
(I) not loaded; and
(II) in a locked container, or a locked firearms rack that is on a motor vehicle;
(iv) by an individual for use in a program approved by a school in the school zone;
(v) by an individual in accordance with a contract entered into between a school in the school zone and the individual or an employer of the individual;
(vi) by a law enforcement officer acting in his or her official capacity; or
(vii) that is unloaded and is possessed by an individual while traversing school premises for the purpose of gaining access to public or private lands open to hunting, if the entry on school premises is authorized by school authorities.

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