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Cato
04-05-2009, 9:26 PM
I posted this within a thread but maybe I'll get better feedback here. Anyway, what do you guys think of this scenario. A guy has a handgun in a locked container inside his vehicle and parks in the school parking lot to pick up his kid or attend a parent/teacher conference. Legal or illegal?

Experimentalist
04-05-2009, 9:39 PM
The prohibition against being within 1,000 feet of a school has an exemption if the handgun is unloaded and inside a locked container

CalNRA
04-05-2009, 9:41 PM
in the parking lot that is clearly on school property?

federal law says this:



TITLE 18 > PART I > CHAPTER 44 > 922
Prev | Next
922. Unlawful acts

.....

(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;



CA law says this:


California Penal Code 626.9:

(a) This section shall be known, and may be cited, as the
Gun-Free School Zone Act of 1995.
(b) Any person who possesses a firearm in a place that the person
knows, or reasonably should know, is a school zone, as defined in
paragraph (1) of subdivision (e), unless it is with the written
permission of the school district superintendent, his or her
designee, or equivalent school authority, shall be punished as
specified in subdivision (f).
(c) Subdivision (b) shall not apply to the possession of a firearm
under any of the following circumstances:
(1) Within a place of residence or place of business or on private
property, if the place of residence, place of business, or private
property is not part of the school grounds and the possession of the
firearm is otherwise lawful.
(2) The firearm is an unloaded pistol, revolver, or other firearm
capable of being concealed on the person and is in a locked container
or within the locked trunk of a motor vehicle.


so....legal.

Experimentalist
04-05-2009, 9:41 PM
BTW, I highly recommend John Machtinger's book "How to Own a Gun and Stay Out of Jail", California edition. Gun Law Press, Library of Congress catalog card number 95-81349

This is the reference I used to confirm the advice I just gave above. Handy item to have around, and it's updated annually.

Cato
04-05-2009, 9:52 PM
Great, thanks fellas!

CalNRA
04-05-2009, 9:57 PM
of course nothing I said here is legal advice and I can't guarantee that you will not get harassed. Please exercise your rights firmly and wisely.

Librarian
04-05-2009, 10:41 PM
in the parking lot that is clearly on school property?

so....legal.

I'm less sure about that; the rest of 626.9 includes (f) (1) Any person who violates subdivision (b) by possessing
a firearm in, or on the grounds of, a public or private school
providing instruction in kindergarten or grades 1 to 12,
inclusive, shall be punished by imprisonment in the state
prison for two, three, or five years.

If you're travelling through the zone, pretty clearly legal. I think parked on school property falls under (f)(1); not being a lawyer, I won't argue about it, because I have no basis to do so.

But that's the reason I don't have a 'trunk gun'.

see http://wiki.calgunsfoundation.org/index.php/Gun_Free_School_Zones

MindBuilder
04-05-2009, 11:57 PM
At the bottom of the link given above by Librarian, it says that it is illegal to bring ammo on to school grounds. I don't see an exception for it being locked. I think you can take ammo within the 1000 foot zone, but not onto the school grounds. This could be a problem for people who forgot a mag or box of ammo, or even had a cartridge or two fall down into a crack.

I don't think section (f) is a problem if the law is listed correctly above by CalNRA. It appears that section (c) says that section (b) doesn't apply if the gun is locked according to section (c)(2). So you won't be violating section (b) and therefore shouldn't get punished as prescribed in section (f). I'm not a lawyer and I could easily be wrong about this.

bigcalidave
04-06-2009, 1:20 AM
The ammo thing is quoted poorly on the wiki. Full text reads:

(c) Unless it is with the written permission of the school
district superintendent, his or her designee, or equivalent school
authority, no person shall carry ammunition or reloaded ammunition
onto school grounds, except sworn law enforcement officers acting
within the scope of their duties or persons exempted under
subparagraph (A) of paragraph (1) of subdivision (a) of Section
12027. This subdivision shall not apply to a duly appointed peace
officer as defined in Chapter 4.5 (commencing with Section 830) of
Title 3 of Part 2, a full-time paid peace officer of another state or
the federal government who is carrying out official duties while in
California, any person summoned by any of these officers to assist in
making an arrest or preserving the peace while he or she is actually
engaged in assisting the officer, a member of the military forces of
this state or of the United States who is engaged in the performance
of his or her duties, a person holding a valid license to carry the
firearm pursuant to Article 3 (commencing with Section 12050) of
Chapter 1 of Title 2 of Part 4, or an armored vehicle guard, who is
engaged in the performance of his or her duties, as defined in
subdivision (e) of Section 7521 of the Business and Professions Code.
A violation of this subdivision is punishable by imprisonment in a
county jail for a term not to exceed six months, a fine not to exceed
one thousand dollars ($1,000), or both the imprisonment and fine.


So again, If you have a CCW, you can have ammo on school grounds. But it sure looks like there is NO exemption for having ammunition in your vehicle or on your person at all... Just another well thought out law :)

CalNRA
04-06-2009, 2:32 AM
. It appears that section (c) says that section (b) doesn't apply if the gun is locked according to section (c)(2). So you won't be violating section (b) and therefore shouldn't get punished as prescribed in section (f). I'm not a lawyer and I could easily be wrong about this.

that's my take on it, as well. If b does not apply then f has no use.

DDT
04-06-2009, 10:10 AM
Hmmmm...... this brings up another school zone question. My son goes to a private school that is in an industrial park. Is their shared parking lot considered school grounds or just any other area within the 1000' zone. I did stop at Big 5 and picked up some .22 before picking my son up one day. I did stop by the house first but forgot to unload the car. I assume I was in violation as the ammunition was not locked. Is that how you read it too?

Flopper
04-06-2009, 10:21 AM
BTW, I highly recommend John Machtinger's book "How to Own a Gun and Stay Out of Jail", California edition. Gun Law Press, Library of Congress catalog card number 95-81349

This is the reference I used to confirm the advice I just gave above. Handy item to have around, and it's updated annually.
+1000

the last one i read was 10 years ago, so i'm gonna pick up the latest edition today.

thanks for reminding me!

Librarian
04-06-2009, 12:43 PM
The ammo thing is quoted poorly on the wiki. Full text reads:



So again, If you have a CCW, you can have ammo on school grounds. But it sure looks like there is NO exemption for having ammunition in your vehicle or on your person at all... Just another well thought out law :)

Ah! You're right. Fixed.

It's hard to be sure what the GFSZ law is talking about, because it incorporates 12026.1 and rejects 12026 in places.

If you read 12026.1 as a transport law, then moving seems to be implied, and parking a handgun on school property is forbidden. If you read it as a legal-way-to-possess, then keeping it locked and parking should be OK.

But (f)(1) doesn't say 'handgun', it says 'firearm'. That's why I think it's different from travelling through. 626.9(c) appears to me to exempt possession on private property that happens to be in a school zone and transport other places in a school zone, with handgun transport locked. (And Feds say long gun transport locked.)

And, from 1994, GFSZ follows the existence of 12026.1 and .2 (1986 and 1987) so it looks like legislature knew about that and expected to trump it. Remember also that GFSZ replaced language that ONLY banned possession on school property; I don't think they intended to give up that ban.

I'll go visit LEXIS in the next day or two to see if I can pick up some school zone case law that is not about obvious criminal behavior like armed drug sellers or gangs. I predict there won't be much.

hawk81
04-06-2009, 5:55 PM
Legal.

Librarian
04-06-2009, 9:06 PM
As I guessed, not a lot of case law. Most actions are referring to US v Lopez for some argument about whether the Commerce Clause allows Congress to do that. (I vote no, but the courts so far have ruled otherwise since the re-passage of the law.)

Anyway, Lexis shows 70 cases, just 14 in the California state courts, and just 3 of those are at all on point. And then there is 1 Federal case that is exactly on - and since we live under both ...

People v Anson 2003, 105 Cal. App. 4th 22
A guy parked his camper inside the 1000 foot zone,and his pistol was not locked up. Conviction upheld.

People v Tapia 129 Cal. App. 4th 1153
Defendant brandished a firearm during a traffic dispute. Investigating officers saw defendant, who was standing on the sidewalk in front of his family's residence, remove a loaded handgun from his pocket and place it inside a vehicle parked in the driveway. The sidewalk was within 1,000 feet of a high school. Defendant argued that the sidewalk was on his father's private property, subject to an easement of way granted to a public entity. The court affirmed, holding that a sidewalk on an easement of way granted to a public entity did not qualify as private property within the meaning of the Cal. Penal Code 626.9(c)(1) exception for lawful possession on private property.

People v. Mejia 72 Cal. App. 4th 1269 (1999)
His car was inside the 1000 foot zone, so guilty; officers saw the gun when the driver ran and tossed it.

And now the Federal case: US v. RAY HAROLD EDWARDS, III,
13 F.3d 291; 1993
On the afternoon of December 11, 1991, Detective Mike Lopez of the Sacramento Police Department gang unit saw Ray Harold Edwards, III with four other males at Grant Union High School. In Lopez's opinion, Edwards and his companions were dressed like gang members, and Lopez requested that three additional officers be dispatched to the school. Four officers and the school security guard subsequently approached the group standing near Edwards's car in the school parking lot. After a brief conversation, Lopez asked Edwards for permission to examine the trunk of his vehicle. Edwards consented and gave Lopez his keys. Lopez discovered a .22 rifle and a sawed-off bolt-action rifle in the trunk.

The Government charged Edwards with the unlawful possession of an unregistered sawed-off rifle in violation of 26 U.S.C. 5861(d) [**3] and the unlawful possession of firearms in a school zone in violation of 18 U.S.C. 922(q)(1)(A). Edwards filed a motion to dismiss the 18 U.S.C. 922(q)(1)(A) charge on the basis that the statute was unconstitutional. Edwards further argued that the statute was overbroad. Edwards pleaded guilty, reserving his right to appeal the denial of his motion to dismiss, and appeals solely to challenge the constitutionality of section 922(q)(1)(A).


Long guns properly carried in a locked trunk but brought onto school property. Guilty admission affirmed. (predates CA's own GFSZ law)

I'd expect my lawyer to do a better job of research defending me, but I think that US V Edwards looks like a big red flag.

There might be some other cases lower than California Courts of Appeal, but Lexis doesn't have them where I can see them.