In sharp contrast to Sen. Dianne Feinstein's proposed assault weapons ban, Rep. Thomas Massie (R-Kentucky) has re-introduced a bill that would repeal the Gun Free School Zones Act of 1990.
First introduced in 2007 by Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas), the Citizens Protection Act of 2013 (H.R. 133), now championed by Rep. Massie, would repeal the Gun Free School Zones Act of 1990, as amended, which makes it "unlawful for any individual knowingly to possess a firearm at a place that the individual knows, or has reasonable cause to believe, is a school zone."
The Gun Free School Zones Act of 1990, originally passed as section 1702 of the Crime Control Act of 1990, was amended in 1995 after being declared unconstitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court in the case of United States v. Lopez. The Supreme Court has not ruled on the constitutionality of the amended law.
Why repeal the Gun Free School Zones Act? "Gun free school zones are ineffective," said Rep. Massie in a press release. "They make people less safe by inviting criminals into target-rich, no-risk environments. Gun free zones prevent law-abiding citizens from protecting themselves, and create vulnerable populations that are targeted by criminals."
However, the gun-carrying ban of the Gun Free School Zones Act does not apply to on-duty law enforcement officers.
Representative Massie concluded: "A bigger federal government can't solve this problem. Weapons bans and gun free zones are unconstitutional. They do not and cannot prevent criminals or the mentally ill from committing acts of violence. But they often prevent victims of such violence from protecting themselves."
Massie's Citizens Protection Act of 2013 is just one of two bills now before Congress seeking to repeal the Gun Free School Zones Act. On Jan. 3, 2013, Rep. Steve Stockman (R-Texas) introduced his Safe Schools Act of 2013 (H.R. 35), which argues that repealing the Gun Free School Zones Act would "restore safety to America's schools by allowing staff, teachers, and administrators to defend the children and themselves."
Both bills have been referred to the House committee system, which is where Rep. Ron Paul's original 2007 bill repealing the Gun Free School Zones Act died without further consideration.