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Old March 12, 2014, 12:51 AM   #1
JimmyR
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Carrying a Firearm in a School Zone off school property

OK, folks, I have been presented with a conundrum, and am hoping you guys can either explain it or otherwise shed light.


One of my local retaiers (Rural King) has begun selling firearms. It is also within 1000 ft of the local high school. I have entered there, browsing their selection, and chit chatting with the man behind the gun counter. He saw that I was open carrying, and stated that doing so was against Federal Law, according to the BATFE guys who helped them set up their license. He informed me that they have to secure any purchased firearm in a locked container and walk the customer to their car. I asked him if he was sure it was Federal law and not a BATFE regulation, and he reiterated it was Federal law.

Now, when I read the US Code, I see the following:

Quote:
Originally Posted by USC Sec 922 (q) 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;
A school zone is defined as:
Quote:
Originally Posted by USC Sec 921 (a) 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.
The term "licensed" is not defined in this section. I am working on the assumption that it refers to the person who has a CCP/LTCH.

I have two questions:

1) Are there other Federal laws that might apply here? I'm not worried about State law, since Indiana's school zone does not go off school property.

2) Are the BATFE regulations that might limit the store's ability to allow firearms carry with it being within the school zone?
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Old March 12, 2014, 01:38 AM   #2
Librarian
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You found the Federal GFSZ law. Essentially nothing to do with BATF.

It means what it says - if you have a license from the same state as the school zone in question, you are exempt from the restriction. Without a license, must transport handguns and long guns unloaded locked in a case or a gun rack.

The Federal law does not account for places where a license is not required for some form of carry.

And GFSZ does not apply on private property that happen to be in that 1000' school zone.

California has its own version of GFSZ; I happen to live inside a GFSZ.
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Old March 12, 2014, 03:58 AM   #3
JimmyR
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Librarian
You found the Federal GFSZ law. Essentially nothing to do with BATF.
Except I am asking about an FFL operating within a school zone, which is very much the realm of the BATFE, and which is why I am asking about BATFE regs about said FFL in said school zone.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Librarian
It means what it says - if you have a license from the same state as the school zone in question, you are exempt from the restriction. Without a license, must transport handguns and long guns unloaded locked in a case or a gun rack.
Except that in most other cases of using the word "Licensed" in the same section, it refers to someone who has a Federal Firearms License, as in a "licensed dealer," hence my trepidation.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Librarian
The Federal law does not account for places where a license is not required for some form of carry.

And GFSZ does not apply on private property that happen to be in that 1000' school zone.

California has its own version of GFSZ; I happen to live inside a GFSZ.
That's why I am asking about other laws that I may have missed or BATFE regs. It doesn't matter if the GFSZ Act exempts private property when it comes to carrying in a school zone if the BATFE won't issue an FFL to a dealer within a GFZ without banning carry. I haven't found anything suggesting this, which is why I am asking here.
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Old March 12, 2014, 04:37 AM   #4
Librarian
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(q)(2) is not aimed at FFLs.

The behavior you describe
Quote:
He informed me that they have to secure any purchased firearm in a locked container and walk the customer to their car. I asked him if he was sure it was Federal law and not a BATFE regulation, and he reiterated it was Federal law.
is entirely consistent with the requirements of GFSZ for folks without a license to carry.

You don't mention your state, but I can tell it isn't California (for which you should thank your lucky stars). Here, it is effectively impossible to to open an FFL within 1000 feet of a school. But if one were to exist, locked-case transport would be required to bring firearms to and from that FFL.
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Last edited by Librarian; March 12, 2014 at 04:42 AM.
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Old March 12, 2014, 05:01 AM   #5
JimmyR
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Librarian
(q)(2) is not aimed at FFLs.
I know, which is why I was asking if there were any other Federal statutes or regulations that would apply that I was missing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Librarian
The behavior you describe
Quote:
He informed me that they have to secure any purchased firearm in a locked container and walk the customer to their car. I asked him if he was sure it was Federal law and not a BATFE regulation, and he reiterated it was Federal law.
is entirely consistent with the requirements of GFSZ for folks without a license to carry.
That's what I gathered. That part doesn't bother me too much, and honestly makes sense, since the gun counter is in the far back corner of the store.

The supposed "ban" on carrying in the store is what I am really trying to get answers about. I don't think I was clear.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Librarian
You don't mention your state, but I can tell it isn't California (for which you should thank your lucky stars). Here, it is effectively impossible to to open an FFL within 1000 feet of a school. But if one were to exist, locked-case transport would be required to bring firearms to and from that FFL.
I snuck it in at the end, mostly because the guy was so adament about it being Federal law, and because Indiana's school zone law is limited to school property.
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Old March 12, 2014, 10:36 AM   #6
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My understanding is that the federal law is never enforced except as an added charge to other offenses.

Because it's pretty ridiculous on its face, anyone transporting a firearm through a state they are not a resident of is bound to pass within 1,000' of school property at some point.

So unless you're also running drugs or trafficking humans or committing some other crime you won't be charged with that.
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Old March 12, 2014, 12:52 PM   #7
Sierra280
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^^that makes a little bit more sense. The 'main street' in the town I live in is HWY395 if I buy a gun a Carson City (where I picked up my last one). Just by driving home on 395 through town I pass through 2 school zones!!

My how the world has changed, seems like fear runs everyone's lives. I remember, growing up in Montana, during hunting season most all the trucks in the High School parking lot had rifles in the back windows. When we moved to NV it was different, everyone in High School had shotguns in their vehicles during duck season. I remember a guy showing up to home room, then ditching the next period; 'where did you go?' I asked. 'Dude, I forgot I had a goose in my backseat of my truck from early this morning, I had to get it home!'
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Old March 13, 2014, 08:59 AM   #8
Rifleman1776
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Quote:
My understanding is that the federal law is never enforced except as an added charge to other offenses.
Your "understanding" is dangerous. I have a good friend, war hero, convicted by Feds because they "surmised" he had knowledge of something someone else had done. Long story. Take nothing for granted re: the Feds.
The school zone laws are a genuine infringement, IMHO. In many/most rural areas every pick up truck waiting in line to pick up a child after school has a gun inside. This is a major issue for me as I am a reenactor and used to speak in schools carrying a Rev. period flintlock rifle. That is now illegal and I cannot do it anymore.
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Old March 13, 2014, 09:54 AM   #9
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Quote:
This is a major issue for me as I am a reenactor and used to speak in schools carrying a Rev. period flintlock rifle. That is now illegal and I cannot do it anymore.
18 U.S.C. 922(q)(B) says the unlawful possession provision does not apply to possession "(iv) by an individual for use in a program approved by a school in the school zone ... ."

This would appear to cover the reenactment scenario if approved by the school.
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Old March 13, 2014, 10:18 AM   #10
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it was in the news a few months ago that the feds (not sure which dept.) set up sting shops next to schools in order to entrap people for carrying in school zones. They mentioned city officials originally declined the opening of the businesses due to the school zoning/gun laws but the feds showed their badges to get a pass on opening the shops.
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Old March 13, 2014, 08:00 PM   #11
Armed_Chicagoan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rifleman1776
Your "understanding" is dangerous. I have a good friend, war hero, convicted by Feds because they "surmised" he had knowledge of something someone else had done. Long story. Take nothing for granted re: the Feds.
The school zone laws are a genuine infringement, IMHO. In many/most rural areas every pick up truck waiting in line to pick up a child after school has a gun inside. This is a major issue for me as I am a reenactor and used to speak in schools carrying a Rev. period flintlock rifle. That is now illegal and I cannot do it anymore.
Are they on school grounds?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Grizz12
it was in the news a few months ago that the feds (not sure which dept.) set up sting shops next to schools in order to entrap people for carrying in school zones. They mentioned city officials originally declined the opening of the businesses due to the school zoning/gun laws but the feds showed their badges to get a pass on opening the shops.
Do you have a link to this or is it just a rumor you heard?
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Old March 13, 2014, 10:45 PM   #12
KyJim
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Quote:
Are they on school grounds?
You only have to be within 1,000 feet of a school. That's what makes it so oppressive.
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Old March 14, 2014, 12:50 AM   #13
Rondog
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Man, I LIVE in a school zone!
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Old March 14, 2014, 09:59 AM   #14
Grizz12
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Quote:
Do you have a link to this or is it just a rumor you heard?
Not a rumor, I heard it on the news one day.

I googled but did not find anything, that being said, google has tripped me up more than a few times by not using terms I use when searching stuff...
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Old March 14, 2014, 11:17 AM   #15
KyJim
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Quote:
Man, I LIVE in a school zone!
You would be "exempt" while in the house but, when driving to and from your house, you would have to keep the gun locked up and unloaded unless you are "licensed" as described above.

I'm going to put the text of the meat of the statute, 18 U.S.C. 922(q)(2)through (4):
Quote:
(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.
http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/18/922
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Old March 14, 2014, 11:33 AM   #16
JimmyR
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@KyJim, so what is meant by licensed? Is that an FFL or love's to carry a handgun?
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Old March 14, 2014, 11:55 AM   #17
KyJim
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As I read it, the statute means a license broader than an FFL; it would include a license to purchase a firearm issued by a governmental unit or an CCL provided the governmental unit "verify that the individual is qualified under law to receive the license."

I did a quick search and found one published case of interest on this point, U.S. v. Tait, 202 F.3d 1320 (11th Cir. 2000) in which the court said that Alabama's licensing system for concealed carry met this requirement even though the sheriff did not do criminal background checks and Alabama law (at that time) said a sheriff could issue a license "if it appears that the applicant has good reason to fear injury to his person or property or has any other proper reason for carrying a pistol, and that he is a suitable person to be so licensed."

The Tait case is available publicly at http://openjurist.org/202/f3d/1320/united-states-v-tait with the pertinent portion beginning at paragraph 17. I'll also remind those viewing this message the Tait case is only the law in the 11th Circuit.
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Old March 14, 2014, 12:32 PM   #18
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In GFSZA, "licensed" means having a concealed carry permit.
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Old March 14, 2014, 12:53 PM   #19
Armed_Chicagoan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grizz12
Not a rumor, I heard it on the news one day.

I googled but did not find anything, that being said, google has tripped me up more than a few times by not using terms I use when searching stuff...
I really, really doubt this story.
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Old March 14, 2014, 11:17 PM   #20
JimmyR
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@KyJim- After posting, I had a brain storm, and realized it HAS to be a CCP/LTCH.

The FEDERAL Firearms Licenses are not issed by the STATES.

I feel like an idiot...
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Old March 30, 2014, 02:06 PM   #21
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I have a couple question that could use some clarification for me.

1). By "licence" are they referring to a Permit to carry? I walk a few miles a day on a city owned trail. One section of this trail goes right behind the High School. Yes, there is a fence between the trail and the School.

As A Permit to Carry holder, can I legally carry in this trail?

2). If living with the 1000 foot zone, is it illegal to take a firearm zipped up in an approved rifle case and carry it from your house to your car if the car is parked on a city street, or would the case have to have some type of lock?
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Old March 30, 2014, 03:07 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JimmyR
Except I am asking about an FFL operating within a school zone, which is very much the realm of the BATFE, and which is why I am asking about BATFE regs about said FFL in said school zone.
Once you walk out the door, the FFL has nothing to do with the GFSZ law. Inside the store, you are on/in private property, so the law doesn't apply.

As I think you are catching on, the federal GFSZ law has an exception for people who hold a carry license from the state in which the school is located.. So, assuming that you hold a carry license and are in your home state, you can carry on your way to and from the store, and the store does NOT have to escort you to your vehicle or put your latest toy in a plain brown wrapper to carry out.
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Old March 30, 2014, 04:50 PM   #23
motorhead0922
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Quote:
Originally Posted by steve4102
I have a couple question that could use some clarification for me.

1). By "licence" are they referring to a Permit to carry? I walk a few miles a day on a city owned trail. One section of this trail goes right behind the High School. Yes, there is a fence between the trail and the School.

As A Permit to Carry holder, can I legally carry in this trail?

2). If living with the 1000 foot zone, is it illegal to take a firearm zipped up in an approved rifle case and carry it from your house to your car if the car is parked on a city street, or would the case have to have some type of lock?
Steve, as a Permit to Carry holder, you can ignore the GFSZA. You can carry on the trail, and to your car as you describe.

There may be other local ordinances that affect you (carry restrictions in city parks/trails sometimes exist), but as far as the federal level goes, your permit exempts you from the GFSZA. See http://www.handgunlaw.us/states/usa.pdf page 10
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Old March 30, 2014, 07:52 PM   #24
Aguila Blanca
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BATFE GFSZ stings -- not a rumor.

http://www.buckeyefirearms.org/batfe...gue-operations

Quote:
BATFE agents befriended mentally disabled people to stimulate business and later arrested them in at least four cities in addition to Milwaukee. In Wichita, BATFE agents referred to a man with a low IQ as "slow-headed" before deciding to secretly use him as a key figure in their sting. Agents in Albuquerque gave a brain-damaged drug addict with little knowledge of weapons a "tutorial" on machine guns, hoping he could find them one.

Agents in several cities opened undercover gun- and drug-buying operations in safe zones near churches and schools, allowed juveniles to come in and play video games and teens to smoke marijuana, and provided alcohol to underage youths. In Portland, Ore., attorneys for three teens who were charged said a female agent dressed provocatively, flirted with the boys and encouraged them to bring drugs and weapons to the store to sell.
Google "BATFE sting operations"
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Old March 30, 2014, 11:49 PM   #25
62coltnavy
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I seems that yall are coming around to the right answers.
1. A firearms dealer DOES NOT have to accompany you to your car when you purchase a firearm. That is FUD.
2. If you DO NOT have a firearms carry permit, then your purchase MUST be in a locked container while on public property. So if you put your purchase in a locked container, unloaded, it doesn't matter if there is a school zone outside the door.
3. For general purposes, a trunk is a locked container, but sometimes there is an issue getting from private property to you vehicle when in a school zone.
4. If you have a firearms carry permit or license, you are exempt from the federal law. The federal law does not specify whether that is a permit for open or concealed carry, so both are allowed.
5. CAVEAT: STATE law varies as to whether your CCW is valid ON School property. Some states, all handguns are banned irrespective of licensure, others allow it. And some states allow you to carry (with a license) if you have permission from the appropriate school officials. The federal law does not address the issue. EXAMPLE A: A California CCW permit allows concealed carry on school campuses. However, some sheriffs or city police chiefs (legally) impose conditions on the license banning school carry. EXAMPLE B: If I read the news correctly, Indiana recently passed a clarification to their law allowing carry with a license in school parking lots, but the license is still invalid for carry anywhere else on a school campus. So you can pick up the kids without locking up your gun, but you cannot attend the PTA or p[aren't/teacher meeting while armed.
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