Are Universities/Colleges Considered School Zones?


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mattx109
August 13, 2004, 09:09 PM
After a few searches on THR and some googling, I'm still not sure. One thing I did turn up is this:

Congress was rebuffed in its attempt to exercise police powers at the state level by the U.S. Supreme Court, when the court declared the 1991 Gun-Free School Zone law unconstitutional, in 1995. That law was reenacted, to the surprise of many observers, as an unnoticed add-on to a 2,000-page federal spending bill, in a form essentially identical to the one the Supreme Court overturned.

It was also listed that school zones were considered "public, parochial, and private" facilities serving as "elementary and/or secondary" schools.

It reads to me like that would not include universities and colleges. State law could still make carrying illegal, of course, but it seems like the Feds haven't touched on this.

Is there somewhere else I should look?

Anyone have the information (with links, preferably)?

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Gray Peterson
August 13, 2004, 09:18 PM
No they are not considered school zones per federal law. In Oregon the Oregon Firearms Federation has successfully fought sheriffs who've tried revoking permits to carry due to the federal law, but apparently forgot the fact that OR allows carry in schools. Washington does not.

mattx109
August 13, 2004, 09:23 PM
I know Vermont doesn't allow carry in schools or on school property (or didn't two years ago, when I last looked at our state criminal law title).

I'll have to look at an updated book.

I'm most concered with the infamous "1000 foot rule." I have a friend who lives about 50 feet from university grounds, and I want to make sure I'm on the up-and-up if I carry there.

Given federal law, and assuming that state law didn't prohibit it, wouldn't that make it legal (albeit likely against school policy) to carry on the grounds of a university?

whm1974
August 13, 2004, 10:00 PM
I'm most concered with the infamous "1000 foot rule." I have a friend who lives about 50 feet from university grounds, and I want to make sure I'm on the up-and-up if I carry there.

I'm wondering how many of us are "unconvicted felons" because we transported a firearm within a 1000' of school grounds?

-Bill

CentralTexas
August 13, 2004, 10:09 PM
we can take a gun to the college as long as we don't enter the building. So I wonder how many are in the parking lot? ;)
CT

mattx109
August 13, 2004, 10:10 PM
I previously asked about the 1000 foot rule specifically and was given a court case that supposedly struck down the federal version of the rule.

The thread is here:

http://thehighroad.org/showthread.php?s=&threadid=61505

The case given is US v. Lopez.

Text of the case is here:

http://supct.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/93-1260.ZO.html

Applicable paragraph on the findings of the appeals court:

On appeal, respondent challenged his conviction based on his claim that §922(q) exceeded Congress' power to legislate under the Commerce Clause. The Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit agreed and reversed respondent's conviction. It held that, in light of what it characterized as insufficient congressional findings and legislative history, "section 922(q), in the full reach of its terms, is invalid as beyond the power of Congress under the Commerce Clause." 2 F. 3d 1342, 1367-1368 (1993). Because of the importance of the issue, we granted certiorari, 511 U. S. ___ (1994), and we now affirm.

§922 can be found here:

http://www4.law.cornell.edu/uscode/18/922.html

If I'm reading this correctly, the 1000 foot rule is no more on the federal level, as I was advised in the post I linked to above.

That leaves only state law to examine.

io333
August 13, 2004, 11:48 PM
Incorrect. The law was *reenacted* with the words "interstate commerce" inserted, and the new law has not been challenged. School Zones are still federal law. There are additional laws in many states. For example, in Louisiana, there is a blanket 1000 foot rule that makes posession in zones (including around universities) a 5 year felony, without exception except for sworn law officers. The state law makes the city of New Orleans, for all practical purposes, one solid school zone and legal concealed carry is essentially impossible. I've been trying to get the attention of some legislator for years about this, but no one seems to want to touch it. Fear of media I guess. The media in Louisiana is entirely controlled by Democrats (who mostly live in the NorthEast US).

mattx109
August 13, 2004, 11:59 PM
When was this reenacted?

Did the definition of school change with the reenactment? If not, wouldn't universities/college still not be school zones, as they aren't secondary or elementay schools?

The decision in US v. Lopez stated:

"section 922(q), in the full reach of its terms, is invalid as beyond the power of Congress under the Commerce Clause."

Is that striking down the reenactment you're talking about, or did this reenactment happen after the case? Is it unaffected by it?

mattx109
August 14, 2004, 12:02 AM
And welcome to the High Road, io333. :D

Big Gay Al
August 14, 2004, 12:45 AM
I recall reading somewhere that there are exceptions to the School Zone rule, one of which is if you have a permit to carry a weapon issued by your state of residence, or by any governmental authority within that state, such as, for me, a county gun board.

In Michigan, (where I reside) schools are pistol free zones, but parking lots are exempt.

Generally, colleges are not considered school zones. But in some state CCW laws, they are mentioned. In Michigan, they are mentioned, but it does not include the state Universities which because they are mentioned in the State constitution are basically governments unto themselves and can pretty much make their own laws.

Basically, State universities suck in that respect, pretty much all of them are anti-self defence.

io333
August 14, 2004, 02:21 AM
Thanks for the welcome. I'm a long time lurker. I'm sure many of you recognize me from other related places. I never saw any point in duplicating my opinions here, especially since my opinions are often a bit too low for The High Road. The School Zone issue, however, TICKS ME OFF. It's always out there, lurking, waiting to destroy some good person's life, yet it has provided absolutely no benefit to anyone except some slimebag politicians who managed to snag a few votes from soccer moms and girly men with extremely low IQs.

Once upon a time, long ago, I did manage to figure out when the new law was enacted and what it said, but I really don't feel like going through that again. It was a difficult search because of all the stuff that came up referencing the old law.

Since I've said my peace, I think I'll just drop back down into Lurk Mode.

io333
August 14, 2004, 02:31 AM
OK, I just couldn't leave it at that.


The original law, struck down in <i>Lopez</i> was enacted in 1990. The new law, currently codified as 922(q), was enacted in 1996.

With that info, It should be pretty easy to google up the texts of the two and compare them.

io333
August 14, 2004, 02:39 AM
Here is the current version of 922(q). It has not be challenged in any high court to my knowledge. I think the formatting is not going to happen, and if it does, go here to see the original:

http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/scripts/ts_search.pl?title=18&sec=922



The old 1990 version was also 922(q). Maybe a copy of Lopez has the original text in it.


-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------



(q)(1) The Congress finds and declares that -
(A) crime, particularly crime involving drugs and guns, is a
pervasive, nationwide problem;
(B) crime at the local level is exacerbated by the interstate
movement of drugs, guns, and criminal gangs;
(C) firearms and ammunition move easily in interstate commerce
and have been found in increasing numbers in and around schools,
as documented in numerous hearings in both the Committee on the
Judiciary (FOOTNOTE 2) the House of Representatives and the
Committee on the Judiciary of the Senate;
(FOOTNOTE 2) So in original. Probably should be followed by
''of''.
(D) in fact, even before the sale of a firearm, the gun, its
component parts, ammunition, and the raw materials from which
they are made have considerably moved in interstate commerce;
(E) while criminals freely move from State to State, ordinary
citizens and foreign visitors may fear to travel to or through
certain parts of the country due to concern about violent crime
and gun violence, and parents may decline to send their children
to school for the same reason;
(F) the occurrence of violent crime in school zones has
resulted in a decline in the quality of education in our country;
(G) this decline in the quality of education has an adverse
impact on interstate commerce and the foreign commerce of the
United States;
(H) States, localities, and school systems find it almost
impossible to handle gun-related crime by themselves - even
States, localities, and school systems that have made strong
efforts to prevent, detect, and punish gun-related crime find
their efforts unavailing due in part to the failure or inability
of other States or localities to take strong measures; and
(I) the Congress has the power, under the interstate commerce
clause and other provisions of the Constitution, to enact
measures to ensure the integrity and safety of the Nation's
schools by enactment of this subsection.
(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.
(3)(A) Except as provided in subparagraph (B), it shall be
unlawful for any person, knowingly or with reckless disregard for
the safety of another, to discharge or attempt to discharge a
firearm that has moved in or that otherwise affects interstate or
foreign commerce at a place that the person knows is a school zone.
(B) Subparagraph (A) does not apply to the discharge of a firearm
-
(i) on private property not part of school grounds;
(ii) as part of a program approved by a school in the school
zone, by an individual who is participating in the program;
(iii) by an individual in accordance with a contract entered
into between a school in a school zone and the individual or an
employer of the individual; or
(iv) by a law enforcement officer acting in his or her official
capacity.
(4) Nothing in this subsection shall be construed as preempting
or preventing a State or local government from enacting a statute
establishing gun free school zones as provided in this subsection.

====================================================

mattx109
August 14, 2004, 02:48 AM
The definition of school hasn't changed in the new law, meaing that colleges and universities still aren't considered "school zones."

That's what I need to know.

So absurd. :rolleyes:

Big Gay Al
August 14, 2004, 07:54 AM
Does your state have any provisions about colleges and universities? That would be your next level to check.

mattx109
August 14, 2004, 08:08 AM
Yes, Vermont law covers schools.

It prohibits carry in "school buildings," but doesn't give a legal definition of "school." This leaves whether or not private colleges are covered in legal limbo, I guess, but one could assume elementary and secondary schools would be covered. VT law also prohibits carry on property owned by the state government -- this would include UVM buildings and its campuses, which is my concern. There is no prohibition within a certain distance of state property (or schools), so I have nothing to worry about.

I can stand half an inch away and... :neener:

RealGun
August 14, 2004, 10:06 AM
University of Vermont policy on firearms (http://tinyurl.com/55qzz)

"The possession of firearms, fireworks, explosives, or weapons of any kind and replicas or facsimiles thereof is prohibited on campus or in residence halls as they pose a substantial danger to the safety of all residents. The only exception to this policy will be that certified Law Enforcement Officers, may wear a firearm while on campus."

This suggests that you might check the policy of the campus in question. Simple Googling produced the above information. It's clear that Federal law has little to do with this in actual practice.

I also found a statement that the UV campus police no longer provide check in and lockup for firearms. That came from a site search on "gun" and "firearm".

Note that the laws (property rights, not "schools") and perhaps campus policy do allow for applying for official permission to possess a firearm. No harm in asking. This would be a case where a license, which Vermont doesn't issue, could have provided some credibility leverage in consideration of the request. Permission is arbitrary by definition.

Daemon688
August 14, 2004, 02:47 PM
Univeristy of Minnesota weapons policy

http://www1.umn.edu/regents/policies/administrative/Possession_CarryingWeapons.pdf

Carrying a weapon is a no, no, but storing your gun in your vehicle is ok.

Rotnguns
August 14, 2004, 07:45 PM
Here in Idaho, non-LEO CCW is not allowed in primary and secondary schools, per state code. As I understand it, Universities and Colleges are not on the proscribed list but some (including the State's largest University) have passed their own regulations prohibiting CCW by all but acceptable LEOS.

wprebeck
August 14, 2004, 07:48 PM
In Ky, you may not CCW onto primary or secondary school grounds. Of course, you can leave it in your car on said grounds, and that's not an offense.

The law specifically says it does NOT apply to POSTSECONDARY education, which would include colleges, etc.

another okie
August 15, 2004, 06:35 PM
The 1000 foot rule under federal law does not apply if you have a concealed carry permit which involves a background check.

That does not do away with state limitations, which vary from state to state. There is no "zone" around schools in Oklahoma.

In answer to your original question, the state definition of a school may or may not include a college, depending on your state. In Oklahoma, it does not, but there are separate laws banning possession of weapons on college and university campuses without permission of the President of the college.

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