Federal law already prohibits those with a criminal record from obtaining firearms, but a newly passed law in New York aims to expand that to include people who had had domestic violence convictions. The new bill, which New York lawmakers have just recently approved along with the state’s new budget, [more]
Ever since the tragic mass shooting in Las Vegas, where the shooter used a bump stock-equipped rifle to kill 58 people, the particular accessory has been under scrutiny. Now, President Donald Trump has announced that he will be banning the buying and selling of the gun accessory to finally end the [more]
Several youth groups, including those formed by students at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, have started to rally in different locations across the country in an effort to stress the importance of gun control. A group called Teens for Gun Reform, which was organized by students through Facebook staged [more]
The FBI has recently released the official FBI NICS Background Check data for January 2018 and it looks like the country's gun sales are continuing its steady decline. According to the recently published data, estimated firearms sales last month fell by 8 percent. Dealers across the country managed to process [more]
The Federal Bureau of Investigation has reportedly sent a request for agents of the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco Firearms and Explosives to retrieve more than 4,000 firearms that were purchased last year. The guns to be confiscated are from owners who should have been prohibited from acquiring them in the [more]
The United States Air Force has announced that it has already launched an investigation to find out why the criminal records for Devin Patrick Kelly, the shooter who killed 26 church-goers in Sutherland Springs, weren't forwarded to the FBI National Instant Criminal Background Check System. According to application forms acquired [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: