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Man brings gun to school board meeting

Discussion in 'Legal' started by griz, Oct 13, 2005.

  1. griz

    griz New Member

    From this article:

    A local man who open carries everywhere went to a school board meeting armed. He checked with the police first, and it is legal because the meeting is not on school grounds. The reaction is unfortunately typical. The board chairman wants the law changed, is considering having the meetings on school gounds, and is of course worried for "the children".

    But what caught my eye was the chairman was worried enough that he had two deputies come to the meeting. If he would have asked for unarmed security guards I might think he was concerned about the danger of guns, but he called upon others who were armed to protect him.

    The link will expire so the text is in the next post.
  2. griz

    griz New Member

    Where do guns fit in?

    York school officials want the law amended to prevent firearms at meetings after a parent wore his gun.


    October 13 2005

    YORK -- When Chet Szymecki does anything - goes to the store, pumps gas at the local Wawa, mows his lawn - he wears his handgun on his hip.

    So last month, when the 38-year-old father of three decided to attend the York County School Board meeting to voice concerns about a cell phone tower proposed at Dare Elementary School, he called the Sheriff's Office to find out if he could take the gun with him.

    He could. So, he holstered his .45-caliber Heckler & Koch on Sept. 26, just like he does every day, and headed for York Hall in Yorktown where the board meets each month. He waited his turn to speak and when called, spoke for the three minutes he was allotted and sat back down.

    All the while, Szymecki's gun was in plain sight of the board members, students, parents, teachers and school employees in the room. It also was visible to anyone watching the meeting broadcast on York's public access channel.

    It was perfectly legal.

    But the School Board is upset, so upset that it wants the state to change its laws. In a letter sent to several local legislators this week, the board asked them to consider amending the law to prohibit firearms at school board meetings regardless of whether they're held on school property.

    "We're not infringing upon people's rights to bear arms," said board Chairman Mark Medford. "It's just a common-sense issue. We don't want to have weapons at our School Board meeting, because if someone decided to snap or got angry about a decision we make, we don't want the worst-case scenario."

    Medford wrote: "Our concern is for the safety and well being of the students present at this school-related activity. Thankfully, nothing happened. But it would seem prudent to take action before a tragedy occurs."

    Szymecki said Wednesday that he didn't realize carrying the gun to the meeting would create such a stir. He carries the gun solely for protection.

    "I wasn't saying, 'Hey, I'll show you,' " he said. "The primary reason I was there was the cell tower. I had read the code and checked to make sure I wasn't violating any laws, and I called the sheriff's to discuss their interpretation of it."

    "The first thing that came to my mind was the word 'school,' " Szymecki said. "I wasn't sure where the School Board fell in that, and where they meet used to be a courthouse, so I also asked about that. I wanted to double-, triple-check with everybody."

    Medford learned about Szymecki's plan from the Sheriff's Office. He immediately notified school officials and the other board members and made arrangements with the Sheriff's Office to have two deputies at the meeting.

    "It brought up some valid points: Should a citizen have the legal right to come with a gun to a meeting like ours at a nonschool site," Medford said. "Are we a continuation of a student function because we have students and parents at our meetings on a regular basis?

    "This is something that could affect all school boards in the state," he said.

    Philip Van Cleave, president of the Virginia Citizens Defense League, said changing the law would only affect law-abiding citizens like Szymecki, whom he said did the responsible thing by calling to check on the legality of bringing a gun to the meeting. The league advocates for gun rights throughout the state.

    "We'd definitely oppose this change to the law," he said. "Their presumption is backwards because putting up a law doesn't stop the bad guy, and just because they feel afraid, they can't infringe on people's rights."

    Del. Tom Gear, R-Hampton, agreed. "He has a right to bear arms, and he has a permit," Gear said. "If I was at the School Board meeting, I'd have felt safe because I'm not worried about that guy. It's the wackos that you don't know anything about, who don't say anything that you need to be worried about.

    "It's clear that the people who have permits are not breaking the law," he said. "I would not support changing the law."

    Frank Barham, executive director of the Virginia School Boards Association in Richmond, said the group plans to help York County lobby its legislative proposal to change the law, but he doubts it will win.

    "I don't think this will get anywhere, because people with concealed-weapons permits can go to restaurants or walk down the streets where there are children," Barham said. "But I think this will cause most school boards that do meet off school property to meet on school grounds."

    Medford said moving York's board meetings to another site would be costly and hamper its ability to televise the meetings. But Barham said that might change one day, if more people start bringing guns to School Board meetings.

    "The safety and welfare of children," he said, "comes before a televised meeting."
    Copyright © 2005, Daily Press
  3. TheOtherOne

    TheOtherOne New Member

    How did he get around the federal law the prohibits guns within a certain distance of a school zone?
  4. Henry Bowman

    Henry Bowman Senior Member

    The meeting was not at a school.

    Whew! Close call there! :rolleyes:
  5. Frandy

    Frandy New Member

    Let's see if I understand this correctly. This guy Medford thought that if someone got really, really, really, pissed off about something that Szymecki would pull out his HK and shoot the guy who was pissed off?

    Oh, no.. I get it now... If Szymecki was the one who was pissed off, he would pull out his gun and kill everyone in the room.

    No, no... NOW I got it.... If Szymecki gets pissed off, he'll pull his pistol and kill himself.

    No, wait a minute... I think i finally got it.... :rolleyes:
  6. Henry Bowman

    Henry Bowman Senior Member

    Don't make stupid decisions. Here's some incentive for 'ya.

    "Decided to snap..." :scrutiny: :uhoh:
  7. CentralTexas

    CentralTexas New Member

    Ruled unconstitutional I believe-

    How did he get around the federal law the prohibits guns within a certain distance of a school zone?
  8. Lupinus

    Lupinus New Member

    So because one school board with baseless want's can change the law's of an entire state? Nice.

    Maybe we shouldn't allow anyone who come's to the meeting to own firearm's. Since if someone was pissed off enough to kill you they could just go out to their car or home and come back with it, or find oyu after the meeting, and shoot you. And how does one decide to snap exactly? Last time I remember people don't go "Ok time to go nuts!" Worst case scenario is someone get's pissed off goes gets a gun come's back and open's fire with no one there to stop him before he shoot's everyone. Of he has to be rushed to be stopped resulting in needless casulties when a few well placed shots from someone defending themselves would stop it right away.

    Oh no a gun, he must be a criminal :rolleyes:

    Says it all right there

    It wasn't withen a school zone. It was held off school ground's.
  9. carebear

    carebear New Member


    Read it again. The meeting wasn't on school grounds.

    He called the Sheriff to check if it was okay because "school board" has the word "school" in the title and because in a former life the meeting hall had been a courthouse.
  10. CentralTexas

    CentralTexas New Member

    I understand-

    I was replying to the post about gun free school zones-

    Ruled unconstitutional I believe-

    "How did he get around the federal law the prohibits guns within a certain distance of a school zone?"
  11. Henry Bowman

    Henry Bowman Senior Member

    Yes, but was re-passed by Congress (and signed by Billy Boy) with a clause that says "because this relates to the regulation of interstate commerce... ." Has not been ruled on since, but newer SCOTUS law (Raich) says "it's interstate commerce if Congress says so." :fire:
  12. Car Knocker

    Car Knocker New Member

    In Utah it is legal to carry in public schools with a CFP. School employees cannot be prohibited from carrying in schools.
    UCA 53-5-704

    THere is a federal exemption under 18 U.S.C. 922(2)(B) (ii) that allows those licensed by the State and whose eligibility is verified by the State, to carry in a school zone.
  13. nhhillbilly

    nhhillbilly New Member

    NH it is also leagle to carry on school grounds either open or concealed with carry permit.

    TO give you idea how the school works in my town. The Supervisory unit (people in charge ) SAU is in Enfield about 1/4 mile away from any school. No students in this building. Everyhunting season they get upset as they can hear shots being fired. NO crime. THe people paid for this building and they act as if they own it and make the rules. The people own it including the hunters.
  14. Old Fuff

    Old Fuff Active Member

    I always wonder why these school (and other) officials can't get it through their heads that what they really need to worry about is the mental-case that brings a concealed weapon to one of their meetings (without any kind of permit of course) and decides to shoot up the place.

    In this instance, if the School Board sheeple are so concerned why don't they simply hold the meetings at a school?

    Of course that would do nothing to protect them from the consequences outlined in my first paragraph.

    Must be something in the water around there ...

    CAPTAIN MIKE New Member

    Strange Logic

    Thank goodness those evil g-g-g-g-g-g-g-g-GUNS didn't jump out of their holsters on the 2 other open-carry armed people in the room (the deputies) and suddenly "go off". Thank goodness the two other armed people in the room weren't having a 'Bad Day' or that they weren't 'upset' by their children's grades that particular day.

    The school board official obviously hasn't considered that he may have already spent many hours in the company of concealed-carry folks. The logic of the board chairman is the same logic of the "blood in the streets over parking spots" argument that other anti-gunners use.

    ....Now....About That Cell Tower .... I recommend the York School Board start issuing tin-foil hats @ Dare Elementary School.
  16. R.H. Lee

    R.H. Lee New Member

    I can't adequately describe how much that mentality bothers me. It is both ignorant and arrogant at the same time. It says that the mere presence of a firearm is enough to cause a crime, and if you are in possession of a firearm, you must be mentally unbalanced and on the verge of violence. It makes no sense, yet that is the prevailing attitude. These are the people in charge of educating our children. :scrutiny:
  17. Lupinus

    Lupinus New Member

    Not my children if I can home school them

    ...when I have them

    Homeschooling all the way
  18. Standing Wolf

    Standing Wolf Member in memoriam

    It's always refreshing to see an elaborate lie started with a nice, clean, clear, old-fashioned simple lie!
  19. Desertdog

    Desertdog New Member

    Since there is a confirmed coward and liar, by his own statements, at the head of the school board, I think the brave people of that school should have Mr. Chet Szymecki run for his seat. At least he is not afraid of of guns.

    If Mr Medford doesn't want a "worse case scenario" I suggest he either have Mr Szymecki or the deputies at all school board meetings.

    Hopefully, since it has been proven legal to have firearms at school board meetings, maybe a dozen or so parents should carry their firearms to the meetings to show their support for Szymecki's rights to keep and bear arms, before they lose theirs.
  20. R.H. Lee

    R.H. Lee New Member

    Is Mark Medford carrying around the equipment necessary to rape any woman in the room? How do we know he won't 'snap' and use it?

    Makes about as much sense.

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