Opinion on PA Concealed Carry on School Property

Opinion on PA Concealed Carry on School Property

This is a discussion on Opinion on PA Concealed Carry on School Property within the Concealed Carry Issues & Discussions forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Pa State law says it is unlawful to possess any firearm on school property but "It shall be a defense that the weapon is possessed ...

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Thread: Opinion on PA Concealed Carry on School Property

  1. #1
    Member Array Kid1911's Avatar
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    Opinion on PA Concealed Carry on School Property

    Pa State law says it is unlawful to possess any firearm on school property but "It shall be a defense that the weapon is possessed and used in conjunction with a lawful supervised school activity or course or is possessed for other lawful purpose".
    I have always been told that even a CCL holder cannot carry on school property. What is your interpretation or opinion of what is in bold text.

    Here is what the Brady Bunch has to say about this.
    State law does not clearly prohibit people from carrying hidden handguns into schools if they have an easily-obtained CCW permit. The law provides a defense for CCW permit holders to carry a gun into school "for lawful purpose."


  2. #2
    Member Array xercise2nd's Avatar
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    Hey, Kid1911! Interesting question. I will be watching the thread to see what develops. As for me, I have scant light to shed on the subject. In March of this year I took a required course in our Commonwealth in fulfillment of a Florida non-resident CCL. The information given in regard to PA was that public school property was simply off limits along with USPS offices. End of story.

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    VIP Member Array Redneck Repairs's Avatar
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    Kid1911 its hard to say ... please post your ccw law along with what you just posted , and links to the laws . I will say that in my state school carry is beyond your big no no .. but then we had colimbine for anti ammo
    Make sure you get full value out of today , Do something worthwhile, because what you do today will cost you one day off the rest of your life .
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    Senior Member Array JohnKelly's Avatar
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    I'd like to know the rule in Kentucky.. don't plan on carrying in the bldg but being able to CCW in the car while dropping off kids would be good.

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    Senior Member Array Gary Slider's Avatar
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    Ky Carry

    You can drive onto school property to drop off and pick up students with your concealed firearm as long as you don't get out of the vehicle or branish the firearm inside the vehicle. Go to Handgunlaw.us and click on "Nationwide Off Limits" in the left column and you can read KY law on where you are not allowed to carry and the exeption for carry on school property in your vehicle.
    Stay Safe,
    Gary Slider

    Co-Owner Handgunlaw.us

    Member Armed Citizens Legal Defense Network

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    Member Array LibertyGal's Avatar
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    Both the PA CCW law relating to schools and the US Postal Service law, IMO, leave a lot of leeway for lawful carry when they exempt prosecution "for other lawful purposes." I do carry in the Post Office, and I feel I am doing it lawfully.

    Living in PA myself, my opinion is that the law clearly allows concealed carry in a school - a CCW is a "lawful purpose" to have a firearm. However, the anti-gun sentiment associated with schools is so overwhelmingly strong that you may well be charged if you were discovered, CCW or not, unless you are in a really strong pro-gun area and the local LE/DA is also pro-2A.

    If I were on the jury, I'd acquit you, based on the reading of the law. But you'd want to have a bulldog lawyer on your side, one who will stay with it for the principle.

    If anyone would carry in a school, they'd better make sure they are well concealed, no way of accidentally exposing or printing, no physical contact, impeccable behavior, and have their CCL & driver's license, and the number of their lawyer, on their person.

    A quick in & out, such as picking up a child, or short-term such as a play or recital, might not be bad. If a person worked at a school and wanted to carry all the time . . . that would be difficult.

    LibertyGal
    Requiring a license makes it illegal to do something that was lawful before the license was required.

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    I would not want to push the lawful purpose loop in PA. for primary and secondary schools.

    Ditto LibertyGal - Hire a really good lawyer.
    Liberty Over Tyranny Μολὼν λαβέ

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    VIP Member Array SIGguy229's Avatar
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    One would think a defense of self and family within a 'criminal empowerment zone' would be termed a "lawful purpose"

    My 2 cents

    Mike in VA

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    Member Array Kid1911's Avatar
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    First I would like to thank everyone who responded with their thoughts on this. Sigguy229 I would have to agree with you that the defense of self and family would be a lawful purpose. After all isn't this why we have a concealed lic to carry a firearm and take the time and money to receive training.
    Now I have carried on school property but I have never carried in a school. I think since I'm on dayshift for the next couple of days I will take a walk upstairs to the DA office and get his interpretation on this.

  10. #10
    Member Array Freedz's Avatar
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    I think its a better idea to just not carry on school or fed. govt. property than try to get a lawyer to prove to a jury of people that dont know squat about carry laws that you were legally carrying. I can live without carrying on those two places - especially in PA, the laws are pretty leniant as it is.

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    VIP Member Array pogo2's Avatar
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    You can't do it...except when you can do it

    Kid1911 posted:

    "Pa State law says it is unlawful to possess any firearm on school property but "It shall be a defense that the weapon is possessed and used in conjunction with a lawful supervised school activity or course or is possessed for other lawful purpose".

    Let me make up a hypothetical analogy:

    "Pa state law says it is unlawful to drive over 65 mph on this road unless you are driving over 65 mph for other lawful purpose."

    It is lawful unless it is unlawful? This has to be one of the poorest examples of drafting a law I have seen. Couldn't the legislators at least have given a few examples of "other lawful purpose" to guide the courts? So it all will come down to the bias or discretion of the particular judge and jury at that trial - a "do it yourself" law.

  12. #12
    Member Array LibertyGal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kid1911
    I think since I'm on dayshift for the next couple of days I will take a walk upstairs to the DA office and get his interpretation on this.
    If he gives you a positive response, GET IT IN WRITING!!

    Either way, let us know what he says and what his general attitude was during the conversation.

    Quote Originally Posted by Freedz
    I think its a better idea to just not carry on school or fed. govt. property than try to get a lawyer to prove to a jury of people that dont know squat about carry laws that you were legally carrying.
    I see your point - but in a way, we are giving up our rights by default when we do that. If it's lawful, it's lawful, and if they say a lawful action is unlawful, they need to be held accountable for that. I just wish some rich lawyer would challenge a few of these things, since us peons don't have the money to bankroll that kind of challenge.

    Quote Originally Posted by pogo2
    This has to be one of the poorest examples of drafting a law I have seen.
    Welcome to PA. That's how they do things around here. I went to my township once to challenge a proposed ordinance, and when I asked them, "What is the purpose of the ordinance, does it accomplish that purpose, and if so how?" they stared at me like I was an alien. You mean an ordinance has to have a purpose, and then it actually has to accomplish that purpose? Wow! What a novel idea!

    LibertyGal
    Requiring a license makes it illegal to do something that was lawful before the license was required.

  13. #13
    Distinguished Member Array AKsrule's Avatar
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    Yes , the statutes are not clear.

    But we should always bear in mind the following part of the
    PA. Uniform Firearms Act.
    ---------------------------------------
    (i) Revocation.A license to carry firearms
    may be revoked by the issuing authority for good
    cause.
    A license to carry firearms shall be revoked
    by the issuing authority for any reason
    stated in subsection (e)(1) which occurs during
    the term of the permit. Notice of revocation shall
    be in writing and shall state the specific reason
    for revocation. Notice shall be sent by certified
    mail, and, at that time, a copy shall be forwarded
    to the commissioner. An individual whose license
    is revoked shall surrender the license to
    the issuing authority within five days of receipt of
    the notice. An individual whose license is revoked
    may appeal to the court of common pleas
    for the judicial district in which the individual resides.
    An individual who violates this section
    commits a summary offense.
    --------------------------------------------------------
    -------
    -SIG , it's What's for Dinner-

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  14. #14
    Member Array soundwave's Avatar
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    Regardless of a loophole in PA law, you still have federal law which is why the state law exists. Federal law gives two exceptions: one for anyone and one that lawyers believe could apply to CCW holders (but has never been tested in a court, the first one has)...

    US Code Title 18, Part I, Chapter 44, ss.922(q):
    (2)
    (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 firearmó
    (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 isó
    (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.


    A lot of lawyers have debated as to whether or not that first one would apply to CCW holders if the license was issued by a State law enforcement agency (such as DPS in many states, or state police) and that you had to qualify in some way for it (e.g. background check, range qualification, etc.). It hasn't been challenged yet in court, so it's still up in the air. Many lawyers believe that it would apply because there aren't too many (if any) licenses issued by state law enforcement agencies that are issued the same way for such a purpose.

    The one caveat? While federal law may give exceptions in certain situations, BUT there is no guarantee that you are free from prosecution if it is actually fired within a school zone, even in defense of children. The US attorney has full right to charge or not charge, so I guess it depends on how it plays out in the media whether they will or not.

    Cheers.

  15. #15
    Member Array xercise2nd's Avatar
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    These have all been great posts! It now seems to me that the solution to the problem is to stay off public school property while carrying (though I agree with Liberty Gal it is an abdication of rights) or simply HOME SCHOOL those little skulls full of mush! (Mmmm...Then again, I wonder if in that case, the STATE would consider one's home the jurisdiction of the public school system in as much as they claim to have a superceding interest in the child's education and welfare. Were that the case, all home schooling CCL parents may have another cause for a concern....)

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