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Robert Longley

Bill Would Repeal Gun Free School Zones Act

By February 1, 2013

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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.

Also See: Poll Shows Majority Favor Obama's Gun Plan

Comments

February 1, 2013 at 4:18 pm
(1) Pat says:

This would be a good move. If passed, this would allow qualified personnel to protect our children from crazies. Then we need to do more about people who “act funny” and are obviously disturbed BEFORE they go ballistic and kill people. Thank you Rep. Massie for trying to do the RIGHT thing!

February 4, 2013 at 12:48 pm
(2) Jack Bishop says:

I agree if gun friendly lawmakers allow guns where they work/

February 5, 2013 at 4:10 pm
(3) James says:

So wait the gun free zone for schools was passed in 1990 but it seems there are more gun shootings now then when I was going to school.

My work building one security guy has a gun. Also in NYC where I leave our security is done by cops who have guns

February 9, 2013 at 12:11 am
(4) Steve says:

The GFSZ Act is ridiculously structured. For example, on-duty police officers and upstanding citizens who have concealed-carry licenses are allowed to carry a gun within the 1000 foot limit (and outside of actual school property). They have been vetted and background-checked and are of little danger. Yet if an off-duty police officer or a legal concealed-carry licensee fires a gun, even in justified self-defense or defense of others (which is normally perfectly legal), that person has automatically committed a felony and is subject to five years in federal prison. No exceptions. So, for instance, if an off-duty police officer sees someone being actively murdered that happens to be within 1000 feet of a school, he cannot shoot the murderer in mid-crime without going to prison. He can only watch the person die. Outside of the arbitrary 1000 foot boundary, he could save a life.

March 3, 2013 at 9:02 pm
(5) Jon O. Boyd says:

Thank you for introducing this bill. The current GFSZA is obviously not working. As we are seeing with the war on drugs, in my opinion, placing further restrictions on law abiding citizens has no effect on criminals. In my hometown, I can’t even leave my property with a loaded gun without being in violation of this law. I can understand not allowing guns on school property( being that most are federally funded, safety of the children, and whatnot) but I should be allowed to walk down a public roadway with a gun if I want to. There are already laws in place that make it illegal to discharge a firearm within city limits or in a wreck less manner( ie. at people or buildings). I should have the right to protect myself and others.

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