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View Full Version : Federal and California Gun Free School Zones Acts


EOD Guy
05-08-2007, 9:38 AM
I was researching a reply on another forum and came up with the following concerning transporting firearms within 1,000 feet of a school. It appears to me that Federal Law requires that all firearms (including rifles and shotguns) must be in locked containers. Comments/opinions are welcome. I would love to be proven wrong!

The Federal Gun Free School Zones Act [18USC 922(q)] requires that all firearms be in a locked container when passing through a school zone. That includes rifles and shotguns.

The California Gun Free School Zones Act (Penal Code 626.9) only requires that handguns be in a locked container. The act also defines a school zone as extending to 1,000 feet of any school grounds.

It would appear that Federal law requires that ALL firearms be in a locked container if you pass within 1,000 feet of a school in California. Other states may define schools zones differently.

Good luck in driving anywhere in a populated area without coming within 1,000 feet of school property.

bruss01
05-08-2007, 1:36 PM
I believe a locked car is not a locked container in the legal sense.

If I understand the law, long guns must be locked in a rack or locked in an enclosed container.

DedEye
05-08-2007, 3:05 PM
What if you live within 1,000 feet of a school? Does this apply to UCs as well?

Scarecrow Repair
05-08-2007, 4:57 PM
I often shoot up plastic jugs of water and drop them off at a recycling dumpster on my way back from the local field. That dumpster is right across from a k-8 school. I keep everything in hard cases. Some of the hard cases are for black powder muzzle loading rifles and won't fit in the back seat, so they go in the bed of the truck. Sometimes there are handguns, but they are all black powder muzzle loaders. It's never been during school hours, but that hasn't been intentional.

Should I rethink this? Say, drop off the spent targets some other time?

EOD Guy
05-09-2007, 6:20 AM
What if you live within 1,000 feet of a school? Does this apply to UCs as well?

The Federal law does not. The California law does apply to university campuses and ancilliary buildings off campus. I don't think there is a "school zone" per se around university campuses.

Neither law applies on private property within the zone.

EOD Guy
05-09-2007, 6:23 AM
I often shoot up plastic jugs of water and drop them off at a recycling dumpster on my way back from the local field. That dumpster is right across from a k-8 school. I keep everything in hard cases. Some of the hard cases are for black powder muzzle loading rifles and won't fit in the back seat, so they go in the bed of the truck. Sometimes there are handguns, but they are all black powder muzzle loaders. It's never been during school hours, but that hasn't been intentional.

Should I rethink this? Say, drop off the spent targets some other time?

School hours don't matter. The law applies 24/7. However, your black powder firearms don't qualify as "firearms" under the law and should not be a problem. I wouldn't wave them around, though.

Scarecrow Repair
05-09-2007, 7:49 AM
School hours don't matter. The law applies 24/7. However, your black powder firearms don't qualify as "firearms" under the law and should not be a problem. I wouldn't wave them around, though.

I guess I better not do this with non-black powder firearms at all, even the .22s. Bummer, but there's another recycling dumpster not near the school.

xenophobe
05-09-2007, 3:52 PM
The Federal "Gun Free School Zones Act" was struck down by the courts a number of years ago. It doesn't exist.

!@#$
05-09-2007, 5:09 PM
is it legal to bring a long gun in a locked case in your trunk in a school parking lot(pick up or drop off kids at school before or after range time)?

EOD Guy
05-09-2007, 5:24 PM
The Federal "Gun Free School Zones Act" was struck down by the courts a number of years ago. It doesn't exist.

Yes it does. Congress passed another act worded to address the objections the Supreme Court had with the act that was struck down. It is current law.

ThomasMagnum
05-09-2007, 5:25 PM
The Federal "Gun Free School Zones Act" was struck down by the courts a number of years ago. It doesn't exist.

Not quite correct. The case I think you're referring to is US v. Lopez 514 U.S. 549 (1995). Correct that the case was decided and the decision found the legislation constitutionally defective for being outside Congress' power to regulate interstate commerce. The problem is that Congress amended 18 USC 942(q) to remedy the deficiency enunciated in the decision. As far as I know the amended 942(q) is on the books and has yet to be deemed unconstitutional.

Looks like EOD Guy replied while I was writing mine

bruss01
05-24-2007, 1:55 PM
Yes it does. Congress passed another act worded to address the objections the Supreme Court had with the act that was struck down. It is current law.

The Lopez case at the Supreme Court decided the law was unconstitutional. So congress turned around and passed virtually the EXACT SAME LAW but with some weasel wording to get around the technical point the Lopez case was decided on - it was a very narrow ruling, if I recall. The new law has not yet had a Supreme Court challenge.

That's why you thought the federal "school zone" law was killed, it WAS but they resurrected it's zombie and no one has gotten in a clear head shot on it yet.

thekidprodigy87
02-16-2011, 6:58 PM
If i were to have a padlock through the zipper of a canvas or soft rifle case would satisfy. I live in an area flooded with school zones. Thanks in Advance!

jaymz
02-16-2011, 7:05 PM
Holy necropost Batman!

bussda
02-16-2011, 7:30 PM
Most here agree that it is locked if you cannot touch the weapon while locked in the case.

thekidprodigy87
02-16-2011, 7:33 PM
thank you!

thekidprodigy87
02-16-2011, 7:34 PM
does ammunition need to be in a locked container as well or just separated from the firearm? I have a hatchback so the trunk is a no go for me.

safewaysecurity
02-16-2011, 7:38 PM
I was researching a reply on another forum and came up with the following concerning transporting firearms within 1,000 feet of a school. It appears to me that Federal Law requires that all firearms (including rifles and shotguns) must be in locked containers. Comments/opinions are welcome. I would love to be proven wrong!

True. But local authorities cannot enforce federal law unless something changed that I'm not aware of.

bussda
02-16-2011, 7:40 PM
The Clark decision defines loaded. As long as the chamber is empty and a loaded magazine is not in the firearm, you are legal. It can be in the same case.

bussda
02-16-2011, 7:47 PM
True. But local authorities cannot enforce federal law unless something changed that I'm not aware of.

Yes. But they can advise federal authorities of the violation.

MudCamper
02-16-2011, 7:48 PM
does ammunition need to be in a locked container as well or just separated from the firearm? I have a hatchback so the trunk is a no go for me.

Niether. See What is Loaded (http://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/showthread.php?t=103660).

For example, transporting like this is perfectly legal:

http://www.natchezss.com/images/products/LM1081130.jpg

safewaysecurity
02-16-2011, 7:54 PM
Yes. But they can advise federal authorities of the violation.

How's that working for Arizona? :D

kcbrown
02-16-2011, 8:09 PM
We are so not free it's sickening.

bussda
02-16-2011, 8:12 PM
How's that working for Arizona? :D

This is getting away from the topic, but Maricopa Co. was doing referrals. Pima Co. was not. Tucson (Pima) has more problems, Phoenix (Maricopa) has fewer. :p

G1500
02-16-2011, 10:16 PM
Niether. See What is Loaded (http://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/showthread.php?t=103660).

For example, transporting like this is perfectly legal:

http://www.natchezss.com/images/products/LM1081130.jpg

So can I toss that in the back seat and be good to go?

Alaric
02-16-2011, 10:29 PM
So can I toss that in the back seat and be good to go?

Even on your dash board or on the front seat next to you, as long as you're outside the GFSZ's.

Might want to have your info well-rehearsed to be able to talk your way out of a traffic stop though.

CSDGuy
02-16-2011, 10:52 PM
Niether. See What is Loaded (http://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/showthread.php?t=103660).

For example, transporting like this is perfectly legal:

http://www.natchezss.com/images/products/LM1081130.jpg

So can I toss that in the back seat and be good to go?

Even on your dash board or on the front seat next to you, as long as you're outside the GFSZ's.

Might want to have your info well-rehearsed to be able to talk your way out of a traffic stop though.
That would be GTG if only the California GFSZA needed to be considered.

N6ATF
02-17-2011, 10:40 AM
http://images.cheezburger.com/completestore/2010/3/31/129145649543903276.jpg

Spelunker
02-17-2011, 1:13 PM
In 1995 the wording was changed to include "has moved in or otherwise affects interstate commerce," so if you have a gun that is a cali only gun then you should be clear.

kf6tac
02-17-2011, 2:07 PM
In 1995 the wording was changed to include "has moved in or otherwise affects interstate commerce," so if you have a gun that is a cali only gun then you should be clear.

Good luck finding one.

thekidprodigy87
02-17-2011, 3:13 PM
when driving through a school zone, does ammunition need to be in a locked container? or can i drive freely with ammo in passenger area of my car? (I have no separate locking trunk.)

bussda
02-17-2011, 3:23 PM
when driving through a school zone, does ammunition need to be in a locked container? or can i drive freely with ammo in passenger area of my car? (I have no separate locking trunk.)

No.
Yes.

J.D.Allen
02-17-2011, 3:24 PM
when driving through a school zone, does ammunition need to be in a locked container? or can i drive freely with ammo in passenger area of my car? (I have no separate locking trunk.)

Ammunition is not regulated. Only firearms are. The only time it matters where your ammo is if if it's in the chamber or in a mag that's inserted in the magwell.

thekidprodigy87
02-17-2011, 8:43 PM
thank you all!