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Long guns allowed in school zones?

marshaul

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CA Penal Code 626.9 reads:

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) does 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) When 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.
This section does not prohibit or limit the otherwise lawful
transportation of any other firearm, other than a pistol, revolver,
or other firearm capable of being concealed on the person, in
accordance with state law.

(3) When the person possessing the firearm reasonably believes
that he or she is in grave danger because of circumstances forming
the basis of a current restraining order issued by a court against
another person or persons who has or have been found to pose a threat
to his or her life or safety. This subdivision may not apply when
the circumstances involve a mutual restraining order issued pursuant
to Division 10 (commencing with Section 6200) of the Family Code
absent a factual finding of a specific threat to the person's life or
safety. Upon a trial for violating subdivision (b), the trier of a
fact shall determine whether the defendant was acting out of a
reasonable belief that he or she was in grave danger.
(4) When the person is exempt from the prohibition against
carrying a concealed firearm pursuant to subdivision (b), (d), (e),
or (h) of Section 12027.
Thoughts?
 

marshaul

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CA_Libertarian wrote:
I don't see anything indicating the wording from 626.9 does not apply to long guns. It says "a firearm." Logically, that means any/all firearms. The exemption in (c)(2) does specifically name concealable firearms.
Read (c)(2) again and tell me what it says.

Remember the distinction between "section", "subdivision", and "paragraph".

Note that (c)(2) does not exempt "possession" of long guns in school zones, thus not contradicting (b). It merely allows for transportation if otherwise in accordance with state law. Thus one may be prosecuted under 626.9 for possession of a long gun in a school zone if one is either A: not traveling anywhere or B: in violation of any other code. The law doesn't seem to contradict itself if interpreted this way, and this analysis is the only way I can reconcile (c)(2) with (b).
 

bigtoe416

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Good point on the transportation vs. possession aspect. The entire law is ridiculous at this point since if a person really wanted to shoot a bunch of kids (presumably that is what the law is supposed to be doing) then you wouldn't bring an uzi or a pistol, you'd bring an assault rifle. You'd never be able to hit too many kids without going onto school property (and hence violating that law) with a concealable weapon. And since assault rifles are practically illegal in CA, you'd be left with a semi-automatic rifle such as an M1A, which would be totally legal to carry on the sidewalk right next to the school.
 

marshaul

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No, it would become illegal as soon as he stopped "transporting" to shoot at the kids, thus preemptively disabling him from shooting. :p
 

bigtoe416

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Oh silly me, how easily I forget. Not to mention the variety of other laws that would be broken when he/she decided to commit mass murder such as carrying a loaded weapon and assault with a deadly weapon and brandishing. Can't forget brandishing. Oh, and then there's that whole murder thing too, but that doesn't really prevent crimes since it only comes into play after you've succeeded. And who really thinks that far ahead these days?

---

Edit: 90% sarcastic
 

marshaul

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Well, I'm not sure if that was intended to be 100% sarcastic or not, but you're right that murder laws don't prevent murder. No law can. Proactive is always better than reactive. The only way for the government to be proactive is through tyranny, and the only way for the people to be proactive is through freedom. Take your pick.
 

CA_Libertarian

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marshaul wrote:
CA_Libertarian wrote:
I don't see anything indicating the wording from 626.9 does not apply to long guns. It says "a firearm." Logically, that means any/all firearms. The exemption in (c)(2) does specifically name concealable firearms.
Read (c)(2) again and tell me what it says.

Remember the distinction between "section", "subdivision", and "paragraph".

Note that (c)(2) does not exempt "possession" of long guns in school zones, thus not contradicting (b). It merely allows for transportation if otherwise in accordance with state law. Thus one may be prosecuted under 626.9 for possession of a long gun in a school zone if one is either A: not traveling anywhere or B: in violation of any other code. The law doesn't seem to contradict itself if interpreted this way, and this analysis is the only way I can reconcile (c)(2) with (b).
I just posted about this in the other thread, then noticed this one...

I was wrong, but had a feeling I might be missing something. For some reason I was misreading that sentence as being a blanket exemption for permitees and parades and such.

It is remarkably clear (considering our legislature's ability to write clear law) that this section does not apply to long guns.
 

AyatollahGondola

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So the question is then, what constitutes transportation, and how might that be interpreted as mere possession?

My hike to the gun range with my rifle would be on foot of course, and by simple man's intent, that is transportation. but you know how courts and LEO can have different interpretations as can laws that one might not be aware of
 

marshaul

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Well, in order to "transport" one must also "possess", so it seems that "possession" must be permitted so long as you are also "transporting".
 

bigtoe416

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AyatollahGondola wrote:
So the question is then, what constitutes transportation, and how might that be interpreted as mere possession?
I'm sure if you're actually walking through the school zone and aren't just standing around that you should be fine. I'd stop and tie my shoes but I probably wouldn't stop and talk with a person.

In fact, if a cop rolls up next to you and asks you a question, just continue walking lest you stop and then he spring an insane trap on you for no longer transporting the rifle. Now THAT would be crazy. In all seriousness though, I wouldn't even stop to talk to a cop unless he ordered me to via some detention.
 

MudCamper

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I think the reality of it is that the authors of this law understood the locked case requirements for transporting concealed handguns, but were not sure exactly what limits there were for long guns, so they threw that sentance in. The fact is, you can transport your long guns any way you want (unloaded). So you can transport them through school zones just the same. Now I have heard that there is a federal school zone law though, that requires long guns be trigger-locked or rack-locked. I don't know the specifics though, nor if the federal law even has the ridiculous 1000 foot language.
 

bigtoe416

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Wow, good call MudCamper:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gun-Free_School_Zones_Act_of_1990

Code:
(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.
That's retarded.

It should be noted that the article says the law was rejected as unconstitutional by the courts and then reenacted in 1996 with nearly the same wording. More info here: http://gunowners.org/fs9611.htm
 

AyatollahGondola

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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.


That's the part I don't get.
 

AyatollahGondola

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Furthermore, wouldn't a California hunting license then qualify you for this exemption?


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;
Breaking this down a bit, a hunting license is issued by the state department of fish and game, a law enforcement agency, and they do require a hunters safety course to obtain a license
 

marshaul

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AyatollahGondola wrote:
 
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.
 

That's the part I don't get.
The reason for this is that the first time this law was passed, the SCOTUS decided for basically the first (and so far last) time in history to limit the authority provided by the commerce clause, ruling the law unconstitutional because it is effectively criminal legislation which should be left up to the states, and has nothing to do with commerce. So the legislature passed it again with that silly bit about "otherwise affects interstate commerce", in order to once again assert authority they don't have under the commerce clause.

However the law won't stand. I'm not sure if it's ever used outside of "sentence enhancement" threats to obtain plea bargains, but, contrary to the claims of the wikipedia page, the new version does not "[correct] the technical defects identified by the Court by adding section 3(A)", because the SCOTUS decision (which is standing precedent) that overturned the original stated that the law exceeded the authority provided by the commerce clause regardless of whether guns affect interstate commerce.
 
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