Staff members inside the White House are usually heavily scrutinized and checked before they are allowed to hold any kind of position inside the official residence and principal workplace of the President of the United States. However, reports have revealed that a new set of FBI background checks was apparently [more]
SANTA FE, N.M. - An amended version of the New Mexico extended background check bill is now heading to the house floor. The House Consumer and Public Affairs recently voted 3-1 to approve the new house bill, HB 50, which seeks to extend the requirement of background checks for gun [more]
President Donald Trump's executive order to deny refugees and immigrants from entering the United States sent shockwaves around the country and sparked protest from Muslim and Non-Muslim American citizens. Over the weekend, protest erupted in various locations around the country including several rallies in large airports in New York, Denver, [more]
Gun rights advocates have reportedly now lobbied for the incoming Trump administration to do away with a recently finalized ruling that would collate information gathered from the Social Security System into the FBI's National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) database. The ruling was originally submitted as part of the [more]
The National Rifle Association (NRA) seems to be quite happy with how 2016 had turned out as the organization tweeted the record breaking number of last year's background checks on its official Twitter account. The organization expressed its delight on how Americans are apparently embracing their right to bear arms [more]
Background checks have always been reserved as an added security measure for high-profile or high risk situations such as firearm purchases, security-related job applications, and safety-related fields. However, a South Carolina State representative seems to want to make it as a requirement for people who want to apply for a [more]
Federal law generally bans possession of firearms within an elementary or secondary school, on school property, or within 1,000 feet of school property. The law exempts law enforcement officers acting in their official capacity, but not off-duty officers, from the ban. Thus, off-duty officers cannot legally possess firearms in these zones by virtue of their office. But like other individuals, they may possess firearms within the zone under a license exemption to the ban. This provision exempts from the ban anyone licensed by the state in which the school zone is located, or by a political subdivision of the state, if the law required the licensing authority to verify that the person is qualified to receive the license.
The law also states that it does not preempt or prevent states or local governments from enacting gun-free school zone laws. As is the case with the federal law, Connecticut's Gun-Free School Zones Act contains no exception for off-duty law enforcement officers. Authorizing an exemption for law enforcement officers, solely by virtue of their office, would conflict with federal law.
The Gun-Free School Zones Act of 1990 was originally passed as section 1702 of the Crime Control Act of 1990. It added Title 18 of the United States Code § 922(q);§ 922 itself was added by the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968.
The Supreme Court of the United States subsequently held that the Act was an unconstitutional exercise of Congressional authority under the Commerce Clause of the United States Constitution in United States v. Lopez, 514 U.S. 549 (1995). This was the first time in over half a century that the Supreme Court limited Congressional authority to legislate under the Commerce Clause.
As nearly all firearms have moved in Interstate Commerce at some point in their lives, critics assert this was merely a legislative tactic to circumvent the Supreme Court's ruling.
The federal Gun-Free School Zones Act prohibits anyone from knowingly possessing a firearm that has moved in or otherwise affects interstate or foreign commerce at a place the person knows, or has reasonable cause to believe, is a school zone. The law also prohibits anyone from knowingly, or with reckless disregard for another person's safety, discharging or attempting to discharge a firearm that has moved in or otherwise affects interstate or foreign commerce at a place the person knows is a school zone. A violation is punishable by a fine, imprisonment for up to five years or both, but is deemed a misdemeanor for all other legal purposes.
The law defines “school zone” as (1) in, or on the grounds of, a public, parochial, or private school or (2) within 1,000 feet from the grounds of such a school.
Possession of Firearm in Federal Gun-Free School Zone
The prohibition on possession of a firearm in a gun-free school zone does not apply to possession of a firearm:
The prohibition on discharge of a firearm in a school zone does not apply to the discharge of a firearm: