The Gun-Free School Zone Act of 1995 was put into place in California as a way to prohibit a person from possessing a firearm in a place that a person knows is a school zone. Of course, this can change with written permission of certain school district officials. You would think these laws would be obvious, but still to this day the lines continue to be blurred. This is why it is safe to consider that a “school” in which this law refers to is an area on the grounds of a school providing instruction to kids from Kindergarten to 12th grade. If you have a weapon, you must be at least 1,000 feet from the school to be within the guidelines of the law. The same goes for bringing a weapon to a college.
The existing law also states that you are prohibited from carrying ammunition or reloaded ammunition onto school grounds. This is, of course, unless it is written by the school that you have been granted permission to do so by the school district superintendent, the designee, or another school authority. Provisions to the bill have taken place since to adjust some of these laws, however. One such bill put forth created an exception that would authorize a person to carry ammunition or reloaded ammunition onto school grounds if it is in a motor vehicle at all times as well as being within a locked container within the trunk of the vehicle.
No matter what, this bill has been put in place to protect children and administrators on school grounds. There have been many acts of violence taking place in our modern times and this specific act works to prevent these incidents from happening in the first place.
Exceptions to the Law
Law abiding gun owners have rights. This is why it is important to recognize exceptions to the gun-free school zone law. This works as a way to ensure that gun owners are not unlawfully penalized for actions that they have not committed. Here are these exceptions, further explained:
• “Concealed Weapons” Law: As mentioned previously, there is an exemption if your weapons are concealed, or properly secured in the locked container of a trunk. This applies to all firearms that are legally being transported.
• California Self-Defense Laws: Are you carrying a weapon for self-defense? If you are a person who possesses a gun because you reasonably fear that your life is in danger, then you are permitted to have it with you at all times.
• Specific Authorized Persons: Some people are permitted to carry weapons with them because they are engaged in the business of selling them, are a guard, or are messengers for banks.
• Security Guards: If you are authorized under California Penal Code 25850 PC, then you are permitted to carry loaded firearms.
If you have run into legal trouble because you “disobeyed” the Gun-Free School Zone Act, you may find in many cases you actually have a very valid defense. This is why it is your best option to speak to an experienced defense attorney and receive the best information to go forth with your case. Call us today for more information.