Carry at pre-school/church or synagogue?

This is a discussion on Carry at pre-school/church or synagogue? within the Concealed Carry Issues & Discussions forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Hi All, A couple of months back I was trying to figure out FL state law on carry while on the grounds of a church ...

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Thread: Carry at pre-school/church or synagogue?

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    VIP Member Array miklcolt45's Avatar
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    Carry at pre-school/church or synagogue?

    Hi All,

    A couple of months back I was trying to figure out FL state law on carry while on the grounds of a church or synagogue with a pre-school.

    I called an attorney friend who called an attorney friend who is in the State Attorney's office in Tallahassee (and who is also an NRA member) and here is the opinion...

    1. It is illegal to carry on school grounds (in other words, a pre-school is a school).
    2. When there are no teachers or students, a church or synagogue property is not a school and, therefore, legal.

    So, there you have it. While the law is not eminently clear, that at least gives us input from professionals in the legal arena who are also gun guys.

    Again, I am not an attorney, don't play one on tv, didn't stay at a Holiday Inn express, and even these legal eagles are not 100% sure.

    Has this helped? Or confused? I am not sure.
    He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose. - Jim Elliott

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    VIP Member Array SIGguy229's Avatar
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    Are these people willing to put this in writing? no offense, but talk is cheap.
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    VIP Member Array miklcolt45's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SIGguy229 View Post
    Are these people willing to put this in writing? no offense, but talk is cheap.
    I hear you SIG. The problem, of course, is that the law leaves blanks.
    So, the school part (in FL statutes) doesn't clearly spell out whether it includes parochial schools, even if that was the intent of those who wrote the law (I don't know if it was).

    And, of course, there is apparently no case law, yet, on whether or not you could then carry after (pre)school is out.

    So, as in other areas of our discussion board, we each choose whether or not we are willing to be the test case.

    For me, the bottom line is I am pretty clear that I should not carry during school hours. I now have to decide how much of a risk carrying after hours presents.
    He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose. - Jim Elliott

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    Senior Member Array ridurall's Avatar
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    I always carry at Church and when my son was in preschool I always picked him up with my Sig .40 on me. A Preschool is not a state sponsered school and while I'm not a lawyer I never worried about it.
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    Ron
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    Quote Originally Posted by miklcolt45 View Post
    Hi All,

    A couple of months back I was trying to figure out FL state law on carry while on the grounds of a church or synagogue with a pre-school.

    I called an attorney friend who called an attorney friend who is in the State Attorney's office in Tallahassee (and who is also an NRA member) and here is the opinion...

    1. It is illegal to carry on school grounds (in other words, a pre-school is a school).
    2. When there are no teachers or students, a church or synagogue property is not a school and, therefore, legal.

    So, there you have it. While the law is not eminently clear, that at least gives us input from professionals in the legal arena who are also gun guys.

    Again, I am not an attorney, don't play one on tv, didn't stay at a Holiday Inn express, and even these legal eagles are not 100&#37; sure.

    Has this helped? Or confused? I am not sure.
    Mike, thanks for taking the trouble to get this information. That was my sense of the Florida law when you first raised the issue. Since our Temple pre-school is not in session Friday nights, I have and will continue to carry to Friday night services.

    As you stated, the law is less then clear, but I am reasonably confident that the opinion you received will be what a court will hold if ever called upon to decide the question. But, of course, this is nothing more then my personal opinion.

    Ron
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    I have no idea what Florida law reads, but when reading about Washington state law(where I live) there was a clause that reads you can carry while picking up or dropping off a child on school grounds. I had to scour the laws to find it, but it might be worth reading the law directly from the law books to find out if FL is similar.
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    VIP Member Array miklcolt45's Avatar
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    Rathos,

    I think FL law is similar in that regard.

    What I was trying to find out was if I, or others, who works at a church/synagogue where there is a pre-school would be in violation of the law if we carried on church/synagogue property 1) during hours when pre-school was in session; 2) after hours when no one else (teachers, students) were present.

    I have had some death threats, and interestingly enough, just this week had a bi-polar man show up who in the past has been suicidal, threatening to his parents (both elderly), and very volatile (to the point that I think he is unstable and potentially violent).

    So, I am very interested in being able to carry for my, and others', safety.
    He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose. - Jim Elliott

    The world is a dangerous place to live; not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don't do anything about it.
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    Member Array rathos's Avatar
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    I would say after reading the Florida law if there is a schooling happening you are prohibited. Below is the law stating no schools. Pre-school is a school so I would say no carry. But I am not a lawyer.

    12) No license issued pursuant to this section shall authorize any person to carry a concealed weapon or firearm into any place of nuisance as defined in s. 823.05; any police, sheriff, or highway patrol station; any detention facility, prison, or jail; any courthouse; any courtroom, except that nothing in this section would preclude a judge from carrying a concealed weapon or determining who will carry a concealed weapon in his or her courtroom; any polling place; any meeting of the governing body of a county, public school district, municipality, or special district; any meeting of the Legislature or a committee thereof; any school, college, or professional athletic event not related to firearms; any school administration building; any portion of an establishment licensed to dispense alcoholic beverages for consumption on the premises, which portion of the establishment is primarily devoted to such purpose; any elementary or secondary school facility; any career center; any college or university facility unless the licensee is a registered student, employee, or faculty member of such college or university and the weapon is a stun gun or nonlethal electric weapon or device designed solely for defensive purposes and the weapon does not fire a dart or projectile; inside the passenger terminal and sterile area of any airport, provided that no person shall be prohibited from carrying any legal firearm into the terminal, which firearm is encased for shipment for purposes of checking such firearm as baggage to be lawfully transported on any aircraft; or any place where the carrying of firearms is prohibited by federal law. Any person who willfully violates any provision of this subsection commits a misdemeanor of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.
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    Ron
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    Mike, if I recall correctly the last time you posted on this topic, in response to a question I asked, you stated that the church pre-school was in a seperate building from the church itself, although located on church property. If my memory is correct, then I believe that you can lawfully carry in the church, provided you stay out of the pre-school building. And, given the lack of clarity of the statute, and, as far as I can determine, the lack of any case law construing this issue, given the circumstances you described, if I were in your position I would definitely continue to carry.

    Ron
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    VIP Member Array miklcolt45's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rathos View Post
    I would say after reading the Florida law if there is a schooling happening you are prohibited. Below is the law stating no schools. Pre-school is a school so I would say no carry. But I am not a lawyer.

    12) No license issued pursuant to this section shall authorize any person to carry a concealed weapon or firearm into... any school, college, or professional athletic event not related to firearms; ... any elementary or secondary school facility; or any place where the carrying of firearms is prohibited by federal law.
    Rathos,

    Actually, your quote is about school-related athletic events and the fines related to violating this section of the law. While I agree that it probably doesn't change the issue that any school is off-limits to carry, that phrase does not deal with this issue.

    FL statute states that pre-schools are included, stating 790.115 Possessing or discharging weapons or firearms at a school-sponsored event or on school property prohibited; penalties; exceptions.-- and later...For the purposes of this section, "school" means any preschool, elementary school, middle school, junior high school, secondary school, career center, or postsecondary school, whether public or nonpublic.

    Anyway, probably a minor detail in that regard.

    However, is a church preschool a 'school' by FL law when not in session? FL attorneys I talked with think no. Law does not clearly state yes or no.
    Last edited by miklcolt45; November 15th, 2007 at 09:46 PM. Reason: typing...disobedient and willful fingers...
    He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose. - Jim Elliott

    The world is a dangerous place to live; not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don't do anything about it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ron View Post
    Mike, if I recall correctly the last time you posted on this topic, in response to a question I asked, you stated that the church pre-school was in a seperate building from the church itself, although located on church property. If my memory is correct, then I believe that you can lawfully carry in the church, provided you stay out of the pre-school building. And, given the lack of clarity of the statute, and, as far as I can determine, the lack of any case law construing this issue, given the circumstances you described, if I were in your position I would definitely continue to carry.

    Ron
    Ron,

    Thanks for the encouragement. I probably will carry at appropriate places (i.e., away from pre-school area) and appropriate times (when pre-school is not in session).

    However, I can't say that I'm not a little nervous about Murphy rearing his ugly head.

    Something happened when I was in Cuba on a mission trip that could have been interpreted badly by authorities there - and I was definitely NOT looking forward to spending time in a Cuban jail. While FL jails would be a step up, I am no more excited about that "opportunity for a new experience."
    He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose. - Jim Elliott

    The world is a dangerous place to live; not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don't do anything about it.
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    Senior Member Array Shizzlemah's Avatar
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    I'm certainly not a florida lawyer. Heck if I have my way I'll never set foot in FL again....

    But we had a similar issue in Maine. Elementary schools & high schools. Colleges and universities including STATE colleges/Us are *not* schools.

    I can't imagine a preschool being a "school" under this rule. Is a preschool accredited ? Is it taught by qualified teachers? May clearly not be a school on those grounds.

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    Ron
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shizzlemah View Post
    I'm certainly not a florida lawyer. Heck if I have my way I'll never set foot in FL again....

    But we had a similar issue in Maine. Elementary schools & high schools. Colleges and universities including STATE colleges/Us are *not* schools.

    I can't imagine a preschool being a "school" under this rule. Is a preschool accredited ? Is it taught by qualified teachers? May clearly not be a school on those grounds.
    Well, maybe not in Maine but in Florida a pre-school run by a church or temple would be considered a school for purposes of the prohibition against carrying.

    Ron
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    VIP Member Array miklcolt45's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shizzlemah View Post
    I'm certainly not a florida lawyer. Heck if I have my way I'll never set foot in FL again....

    But we had a similar issue in Maine. Elementary schools & high schools. Colleges and universities including STATE colleges/Us are *not* schools.

    I can't imagine a preschool being a "school" under this rule. Is a preschool accredited ? Is it taught by qualified teachers? May clearly not be a school on those grounds.
    Actually, Shizzlemah,

    The statute seems pretty clear. As I quoted above...790.115 Possessing or discharging weapons or firearms at a school-sponsored event or on school property prohibited; penalties; exceptions.-- and later...For the purposes of this section, "school" means any preschool, elementary school, middle school, junior high school, secondary school, career center, or postsecondary school, whether public or nonpublic.

    In addition, our is accredited, our teachers are all certified, and it receives state funds.
    He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose. - Jim Elliott

    The world is a dangerous place to live; not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don't do anything about it.
    Albert Einstein

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