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How does Vermont get around the Federal Gun Free School Zone law?

Jared

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I think what it boils down to, is that it's just not an issue in VT. People from VT aren't here participating, because they mostly just don't have any issues: they just carry, and that is that.

I keep up with the news from northern New England, and I can only recall one case, from about 4-5 years ago, where someone was charged with having a gun on a school campus in VT. I don't remember the particulars, other than that he was being actively pursued by LE for another crime, and jumped the fence to an elementary school and ran into (and I think briefly hid in) the school building.

My "dog in this fight" is that I'm moving to NH, and depending on which part of Coös County I land in, I'll either be just a few miles, or just a few yards, from VT (or ME). NH is pretty skinny that far north, so it pays to know all three states' laws.

NH, by the way, also doesn't have an exemption to the FGFSZA, because licensees don't undergo a background check. NH has no laws against carrying on campus or inside school buildings. How does NH "get around it"? Nobody cares, just the same as VT.

Nobody has ever been charged under the federal law unless they were also doing something that brought the feds into it, like dealing drugs in a school zone. The odds of a local or state LEO referring a gun possession case to the feds, when it doesn't violate state laws and there are no other violations in play, are simply miniscule. Could they? Sure. Would the feds pursue it? Possibly, but not likely.

If the feds pursued it and won a conviction, it would open up a new challenge to the post-Lopez modification of GFSZA. Absent other federal violations, they'd probably lose, and they don't want to lose that carrot when it comes to carrot-and-stick plea bargain negotiations. GFSZA charges are always an add-on charge, something they settle for when the defendant agrees to a plea bargain.
If the police run a background check on you before you are issued the permit, you are exempt from the GFSZA. I would recommend that someone get's a background check from the police or AG (whoever does it in NH) and bring that to your licensing authority (if it's your town selectman or something) and include it in your application for a license, that way, according to the exemptions laid out in 18 USC 922(q), you would be exempt. I would imagine most PD's run a background check on you before giving you a license, I know the state police do for non-resident licenses.

Secondly, the background check thing in itself may not be an issue, Alabama does not require a background check to get a carry license, but the 11th circuit ruled that an Alabama permit will exempt you from the GFSZA.

I would argue realistically that the only way a New Hampshire license may not be valid for an exemption would be if it's issued by the mayor or town selectman, and they do not run a background check on you at all, and you do not include a background check in your application.
 
M

McX

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i can tell ya how we get around the school zone thing here; first we whip out our trusty maps, then google it up, we walk 6 blocks- unloaded and encased, then we cut through some guy's yard, and get over to the sidewalk on the next street, while the guy who's yard we cut through is persuing us asking; what the hell you doin my yard? we shake him, find a quiet spot, and holster up, go another few blocks, and then damn it, back into the case the gun goes- unloaded, cause were back on the edge of another school zone. then we get pissed, and call one of our buddies to come get us, and get us the hell out of this town.
 

cocked&locked

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The fallacy in the argument is that a "license" is a piece of paper a person obtains from a State. This is not true. A license is not a piece of paper; but rather, a license is permission by the State to engage in a particular activity. The piece of paper that everyone refers to as a "license" is merely evidence of the State granting that permission.

Remember, we are talking about federal criminal law here; and a federal prosecution. The federal gov't is usually not bound by state actions or decisions. However, in this particular case, the federal gov't has agreed to be bound by state law. So if the state says its OK, then its OK.

Because they have agreed to be bound by state law, there is no State's rights constitutional violation; and in-fact all state licensed (as in given permission; not issued a paper license) gun owners are allowed in school zones unless there is a specific state law to the contrary.
 
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TFred

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Secondly, the background check thing in itself may not be an issue, Alabama does not require a background check to get a carry license, but the 11th circuit ruled that an Alabama permit will exempt you from the GFSZA.
That ruling would be very interesting to read.... do you have any reference to where one might find it?

TFred
 

cocked&locked

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That ruling would be very interesting to read.... do you have any reference to where one might find it?

TFred
US v Tait (2000) 11th Circuit

« up202 F.3d 1320 (11th Cir. 2000)
UNITED STATES of America, Plaintiff-Appellant,
v.
Wiley Block TAIT, Defendant-Appellee.
No. 99-11825
Non-Argument Calendar.
United States Court of Appeals,
Eleventh Circuit.
Feb. 4, 2000.
Appeal from the United States District Court for the Southern District of Alabama. (No. 99-00012-CR-CB), Charles R. Butler, Jr., Chief Judge.

Before TJOFLAT, BARKETT and WILSON, Circuit Judges.

WILSON, Circuit Judge:

1
A federal grand jury returned a two-count indictment against Wiley Block Tait in January, 1999. The indictments arose from a 1997 incident wherein Tait possessed a pistol. Count One charged Tait with being a felon in possession of a firearm in violation of 18 U.S.C. 922(g)(1). Count Two charged Tait with possessing a firearm in a gun-free school zone in violation of 18 U.S.C. 922(q)(2)(A).

2
Tait filed a motion to dismiss both counts, claiming that exceptions to both 922(g)(1) and 922(q)(2)(A) made his possession of the pistol legal. The district court granted Tait's motion to dismiss both counts, based on the court's interpretation and application of relevant statutes. The government appeals the district court's dismissal. This court reviews de novo dismissals based on statutory interpretation. Williams v. Homestake Mortgage Co., 968 F.2d 1137, 1139 (11th Cir.1992).

3
We affirm.

BACKGROUND

4
At the time of Tait's alleged violations, Tait had three prior felony convictions in the state of Michigan: a 1958 conviction for the crime of Utter & Publish; a 1962 conviction for Attempted Larceny from a Motor Vehicle; and a 1968 conviction for Enter Without Breaking. Each conviction was punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year. In March, 1997, the Escambia County, Alabama Sheriff's Department issued Tait a pistol license. On November 3, 1997, the Atmore, Alabama Police Department arrested Tait after he allegedly placed a fully-loaded gun against a student's neck while on Escambia County High School property. The two-count indictment against Tait followed.

DISCUSSION

Count One: Violation of 922(g)(1)

5
The grand jury's first count against Tait charges a violation of 18 U.S.C. 922(g)(1). This section makes it "unlawful for any person who has been convicted in any court of a crime punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year" to possess a firearm in or affecting commerce or to receive a firearm which has been shipped or transported in interstate commerce. 18 U.S.C. 922(g)(1). Tait's felony record, consisting of three separate crimes each punishable by more than one year imprisonment, brings him within the ambit of the 922(g)(1) prohibition against possessing firearms. However, 922(g)(1) has a pertinent exception. Section 921(a)(20) provides:

6
What constitutes a conviction of [a crime punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year] shall be determined in accordance with the law of the jurisdiction in which the proceedings were held. Any conviction which has been expunged, or set aside or for which a person has been pardoned or has had civil rights restored shall not be considered a conviction for purposes of this chapter, unless such pardon, expungement, or restoration of civil rights expressly provides that the person may not ship, transport, possess, or receive firearms.

7
18 U.S.C. 921(a)(20).

8
The first sentence of 921(a)(20) makes clear that Michigan law-the state of Tait's convictions-dictates whether Tait's felonies constitute convictions under 922(g)(1). The second sentence of 921(a)(20) provides the exception to 922(g)(1): a conviction will not count as a conviction for purposes of 922(g)(1) if, inter alia, the state of conviction (Michigan) restores civil rights to the person previously convicted. Tait argues that he did not violate 922(g)(1) because his civil rights were restored under Michigan law.

9
The district court determined that Michigan does restore civil rights to persons previously convicted, and that Tait's civil rights were so restored. The district court was without the benefit of a recent Sixth Circuit case, Hampton v. United States, 191 F.3d 695 (6th Cir.1999) when it rendered its decision in this case.1 Hampton unequivocally confirms the district court's conclusion that Michigan restores all civil rights to convicted felons. The Hampton court determined that Michigan restores civil rights by operation of law (as opposed to granting certificates or otherwise memorializing the restoration). See id. at 702. Hampton relied on United States v. Bolton, 32 F.Supp.2d 461 (S.D.Texas 1999), in reaching its decision. The Bolton court held:

10
[T]his Court finds that Michigan law provides for the automatic reinstatement of all civil rights of convicted felons following release from custody and completion of probation. Thus, once [the defendant] completed his sentence ..., all or essentially all of [his] civil rights-namely, his right to vote, to hold public office, and to serve on a jury-were "restored automatically by the force of the very [Michigan] laws that suspend[ed] them."

11
United States v. Bolton, 32 F.Supp.2d at 465 (quoting United States v. Dahms, 938 F.2d 131, 134 (9th Cir.1991)).

12
Thus, under Hampton, Tait's civil rights were restored. This conclusion does not, however, automatically qualify Tait for the exemption in 921(a)(20). Section 921(a)(20) contains an "unless" clause: the restoration of civil rights exempts a convicted felon from the prohibition against possessing a firearm "unless such ... restoration of civil rights expressly provides that the person may not ... possess ... firearms." 18 U.S.C. 921(a)(20). The Supreme Court discussed this "unless" clause at length in Caron v. United States, 524 U.S. 308, 118 S.Ct. 2007, 141 L.Ed.2d 303 (1998). Caron involved a Massachusetts statute which prohibited felons from possessing handguns, but which did not prohibit felons from possessing rifles. The issue in Caron was whether the state prohibition against felons possessing some weapons, but not all, triggered the unless clause. See id. at 2011. The Court held that the prohibition did trigger the unless clause. The Court essentially held the unless clause is "all-or-nothing;" either state law triggers the clause by banning felons from possessing some firearms, or state law does not trigger the clause because the state does not ban felons from possessing any firearms. See id. Since Massachusetts had deemed felons unfit to possess some weapons, the statutory unless clause had been triggered (and therefore felons in Massachusetts do not qualify for the 921(a)(20) exception). If Massachusetts had remained silent on the issue, the unless clause would not have been triggered.

13
Michigan, like Massachusetts, grants restoration of civil rights by operation of law. As such, Tait received no written restoration of civil rights which could have expressed any limitations on those rights. Rather, these limitations would also be found in Michigan law. The government contends that section 750.224f of the Michigan Code provides the limitation in Tait's case. The section prohibits persons convicted of "specified felonies" from possessing firearms.2 Mich. Comp. Laws 750.224f (1999). A "specified felony" is a felony in which:

14
An element of that felony is the use, attempted use, or threatened use of physical force against the person or property of another, or that by its nature, involves a substantial risk that physical force against the person or property of another may be used in the course of committing the offense.

15
Mich. Comp. Laws 750.224f(6)(i).

16
The government contends that one of Tait's crimes, Attempted Larceny from a Motor Vehicle, should be considered a specified felony.3 The district court found that Tait's attempted larceny from a motor vehicle conviction did not qualify as a specified felony. Whether attempted larceny from a motor vehicle is a specified felony turns on whether the crime involves a substantial risk of physical force, or the use, attempted use, or threatened use of physical force as an element of the crime. The district court, finding no Michigan law which defines physical force, determined that "a logical interpretation of the larceny from motor vehicles statute would be that physical force is not required."4 Absent an element of physical force, larceny from motor vehicles would not be a specified felony. Consequently, the conviction would not trigger the unless clause under Caron, and the restoration of Tait's civil rights would qualify for the 921(a)(20) exception. Therefore, we hold that Tait's civil rights were unreservedly restored to him by operation of Michigan law, and Tait was not subject to prosecution under 18 U.S.C. 922(g)(1). The district court properly dismissed Count One of the indictment against Tait.

Count Two: Violation of 922(q)(2)(A)

17
The grand jury's second count against Tait charges him with a violation of 18 U.S.C. 922(q)(2)(A) (the "Gun-Free School Zone Act"). The section states, "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." 18 U.S.C. 922(q)(2)(A). Tait was on high school property, an obvious "school zone," at the time of his alleged criminal conduct. However, as with 922(g)(1), an exception to the firearms prohibition of 922(q)(2)(A) applies. Section 922(q)(2)(B)(ii) provides:

18
Subparagraph (A) does not apply to the possession of a firearm ... 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....

19
18 U.S.C. 922(q)(2)(B)(ii).

20
The Gun-Free School Zone Act dictates that Tait violated federal law via possessing a handgun in a school zone unless Tait was licensed by Alabama, and either Alabama or Escambia County verified that Tait was qualified to receive the license.5 As Tait did possess a handgun in a school zone, and Tait was licensed in Alabama, the issue boils down to whether Alabama or Escambia County adequately verified that Tait was qualified to receive the license.

21
Alabama's licensing requirements are lenient:

22
The sheriff of a county may, upon application of any person residing in that county, issue a qualified or unlimited license to such person to carry a pistol ... if it appears that the applicant has good reason to fear injury to his person or property or has any other proper reason for carrying a pistol, and that he is a suitable person to be so licensed.

23
Ala.Code 13A-11-75 (1975). The government argues that Tait's license is void for purposes of 922(q)(2)(B)(ii) for two reasons: first, because Alabama's requirements for verifying an applicants' qualifications are too relaxed to ever qualify their licensees for 922(q)(2)(B)(ii) protections; and second, because Tait was not a suitable person to be licensed under Alabama law. According to the government, these licensing deficiencies resulted in Tait receiving a void license which did not qualify for the exception in 922(q)(2)(B)(ii).

24
The government first argues that Alabama licenses never qualify for the exception in 922(q)(2)(B)(ii) because Alabama does not require its licensing agents to conduct background checks on firearms license applicants. The 922(q)(2)(B)(ii) exception only applies if "... the law of the State ... requires that ... [the sheriff] verify that the individual is qualified under law to receive the license." 18 U.S.C. 922(q)(2)(B)(ii). By its basic terms, the statute merely requires that the Alabama sheriff ensured that Tait was qualified under Alabama law to receive the license. While the Alabama law is extremely lenient, it is nonetheless the only pertinent law. Alabama has chosen its laws, and these are the laws which determine whether the federal statute's exception applies. See Caron v. United States, 524 U.S. 308, 118 S.Ct. at 2011-12, 141 L.Ed.2d 303.6 Alabama is free to set forth its own licensing requirements, and Congress chose to defer to those licensing requirements when it established "qualified under law" as its criterion for the exception to the Gun-Free School Zone Act. Therefore the government's first argument with respect to 922(q)(2)(B)(ii) is rejected.7

25
The government next argues that Tait failed to qualify for an Alabama license, even under Alabama's lax standards, because Tait was not a suitable licensee. The government maintains that Tait was not suitable based on Alabama Code section 13A-11-72(a), which provides: "No person who has been convicted in this state or elsewhere of committing or attempting to commit a crime of violence shall own a pistol or have one in his ... possession or under his ... control." Ala.Code 13A-11-72(a) (1975). The government's argument fails due to a recent Eleventh Circuit opinion, United States v. Fowler, 11th Cir., 1999, 198 F.3d 808 (1999). The Fowler court held, "Without an express limitation on the certificate restoring civil and political rights ..., under Alabama law the restoration of civil and political rights restores the firearm rights limited by 13A-11-72(a)." Id.

26
The government tries to distinguish Fowler on two bases: first, that the defendant in Fowler received a written pardon restoring his civil rights (whereas Tait's civil rights were restored via operation of Michigan law); and second, that the Fowler case involved the interpretation of 922(g) rather than 922(q). Both distinctions are irrelevant. First, the Supreme Court held in Caron, "Massachusetts restored petitioner's civil rights by operation of law rather than by pardon or the like. This fact makes no difference." Caron, 524 U.S. 308, 118 S.Ct. at 2011, 141 L.Ed.2d 303. The critical issue is whether civil rights were restored unconditionally-not how the civil rights were restored. Tait's civil rights were restored, without reservation; thus Tait is entitled to the same protections as any other person without state-imposed limitations on his civil rights-including the protections of the 922(q)(2)(B)(ii) exception.

27
As for the government's second point, the fact that this court was evaluating 922(g) rather than 922(q) in Fowler is entirely irrelevant. Utilizing Fowler's line of reasoning, this court holds that Tait's firearms rights were restored for purposes of exceptions to 922(g) as well as 922(q). Fowler held that a felon's right to firearms was completely restored for purposes of removing 13A-11-72(a) limitations. Fowler, 198 F.3d 808. Tait's suitability for firearms licensing was equally restored. To hold otherwise would be non-congruous with Fowler. We therefore hold that the district court properly dismissed Count Two of the indictment against Tait.

CONCLUSION

28
Wiley Block Tait, a former felon, possessed a firearm in a gun-free school zone. Under some circumstances, these facts would have subjected Tait to prosecution under 18 U.S.C. 922. However, Tait violated neither 18 U.S.C. 922(g)(1) nor 18 U.S.C. 922(q)(2)(A) in this instance, because both sections have exceptions which legalized Tait's possession. Therefore, the district court's order is

29
AFFIRMED.
NOTES:

1
The state of Michigan is part of the Sixth Circuit. Thus Hampton v. United States is controlling on this issue until and unless the Michigan Supreme Court rules otherwise. See Hampton, 191 F.3d at 702.

2
Section 750.224f contains exceptions, as well as its own restoration conditions, which are not relevant to this appeal.

3
Specified felonies also include felonies which specifically involve controlled substances, firearms, or explosives, as well as the felonies of burglary of an occupied dwelling, breaking and entering an occupied dwelling, and arson. See Mich. Comp. Laws 750.224f(6)(ii)-(v). The district court aptly concluded that by separating out burglary of an occupied dwelling and breaking and entering an occupied dwelling, Michigan legislators intended that burglary of a non-occupied dwelling and breaking and entering of a non-occupied dwelling should not themselves be considered specified felonies. Hence, attempted larceny from a motor vehicle (being akin to burglary or breaking and entering of a non-occupied dwelling) likewise would not be a specified felony.

4
The Michigan statute defining larceny at the time of Tait's conviction in 1962 provided:

Any person who shall commit the offense of larceny by stealing or unlawfully removing or taking any wheel, tire, radio, heater or clock in or on any motor vehicle, house trailer, trailer or semi-trailer, shall be guilty of a felony, punishable by a fine not to exceed $1,000.00, or by imprisonment in the state prison not more than 5 years.

Any person who shall enter or break into any motor vehicle, house trailer, trailer or semi-trailer, for the purpose of stealing or unlawfully removing therefrom any goods, chattels or property of the value of not less than $5000.00, or who shall break or enter into any motor vehicle, house trailer, trailer or semi-trailer, for the purpose of stealing or unlawfully removing therefrom any goods, chattels or property regardless of the value thereof if in so doing such person breaks, tears, cuts or otherwise damages any part of such motor vehicle, house trailer, trailer or semi-trailer, shall be guilty of a felony, punishable by a fine not to exceed $1,000.00, or by imprisonment in the state prison not more than 5 years.

Mich. Comp. Laws 750.356a (1968).

5
Tait argued to the district court and on appeal that the Gun-Free School Zone Act is unconstitutional under United States v. Lopez, 514 U.S. 549, 115 S.Ct. 1624, 131 L.Ed.2d 626 (1995). The district court determined that it "need not reach the constitutionality issue because Tait's permit removes him from the reach of 922(q)." This court declines to entertain Tait's constitutional argument for the same reason.

6
The Caron court noted, in the context of a discussion of 922(g), that state laws provide the source of law for determining restoration issues, as well as for determining whether a former felon is too dangerous to possess a firearm. In other words, federal law uses state findings to determine whether the federal law has been violated. See Caron, 524 U.S. 308, 118 S.Ct. at 2011-12, 141 L.Ed.2d 303.

7
The government argues that Alabama's licensing requirements are so relaxed that they will always fail to qualify their licensees for the 922(q)(2)(B)(ii) exception. The government maintains that Congress envisioned a background check when drafting the exception. This would require states to check for prior felonies before issuing firearms licenses. If the state failed to do so, their licenses would be valid for state purposes, but the licensees would not garner the 922(q)(2)(B)(ii) protections. While the government's argument is persuasive, it misses the point. Tait's civil rights were fully restored by operation of Michigan law; hence, even if Alabama had conducted a background check, Tait would have qualified for the license so long as Alabama allowed former felons to possess firearms. Whether Tait qualified for a license under Alabama laws is discussed later in this opinion. Having determined that Alabama's licensing procedure is not relevant to this appeal, we decline to decide whether, in general, Alabama's licensing procedure qualifies its licensees for 922(q)(2)(B)(ii) protections.

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TFred

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Ha ha... see Footnote #5:

5
Tait argued to the district court and on appeal that the Gun-Free School Zone Act is unconstitutional under United States v. Lopez, 514 U.S. 549, 115 S.Ct. 1624, 131 L.Ed.2d 626 (1995). The district court determined that it "need not reach the constitutionality issue because Tait's permit removes him from the reach of 922(q)." This court declines to entertain Tait's constitutional argument for the same reason.

Every little try to get rid of the GFSZA is worth the effort! They don't want to touch it.

TFred
 

vermonter

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Reply to GFZA Vermont

Quote: "Assuming that means a CC license, there's no such thing as a Vermont CC license, and if a Vermonter has, say, a Florida CC license, that doesn't work either"

Vermont will never have a CCW license b/c every misguided gun owner will come out against it. If we had shall issue permit optional like AK and AZ we would have GFSZ exemption and reciprocity. I have heard the owner of the biggest gun store in VT say he would appear at the state house and oppose ANY gun bill including permit option. So Vermont will continue to live in the dark ages, and one day "constitutional carry" will be outlawed. It is not specifically legal to carry in VT, the law is just silent on it.

As far as the reality of GFSZ I have asked several local PO's and an ATF agent. All have stated it is only used as a tool if a real criminal were to be charged with doing something in said GFSZ. They have too much drug crime to bother law abiding citizens who are merely driving past a school. Enter the property, that is another matter!
 

Article1section23

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Quote: "Assuming that means a CC license, there's no such thing as a Vermont CC license, and if a Vermonter has, say, a Florida CC license, that doesn't work either"

Vermont will never have a CCW license b/c every misguided gun owner will come out against it. If we had shall issue permit optional like AK and AZ we would have GFSZ exemption and reciprocity. I have heard the owner of the biggest gun store in VT say he would appear at the state house and oppose ANY gun bill including permit option. So Vermont will continue to live in the dark ages, and one day "constitutional carry" will be outlawed. It is not specifically legal to carry in VT, the law is just silent on it.

As far as the reality of GFSZ I have asked several local PO's and an ATF agent. All have stated it is only used as a tool if a real criminal were to be charged with doing something in said GFSZ. They have too much drug crime to bother law abiding citizens who are merely driving past a school. Enter the property, that is another matter!
Vermonter, this is the way the law works (not meant to be condescending - explaining for others). First the US Constitution is the "Supreme Law of the Land" then the Vermont constitution, then your legislature.

Now, the vermont supreme court said in State v. Rosenthal, 75 Vt. 295, 55 A. 610 (1903)
that requiring a permit is against the Vermont constitution. That is why it is legal to carry either Openly or Concealed in your state. The legislature has no power to regulate via a permit system.

Hope this helps shed some light on the guys comments. Your constitutional carry isn't going away ever.....unless your supreme court over rules itself.
 

carry for myself

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okay.....ill answer it. SIMPLE. you DONT lol im from VT originally and i asked myself this same question all the time. then i found out. you dont carry a gun near a school. that simple. take a different road, go elsewhere. I know harwood union HS allows people to have a weapon in the car during a pickup or dropoff of a student but that violates GFSZ so.......oie its a pain
 

TFred

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okay.....ill answer it. SIMPLE. you DONT lol im from VT originally and i asked myself this same question all the time. then i found out. you dont carry a gun near a school. that simple. take a different road, go elsewhere. I know harwood union HS allows people to have a weapon in the car during a pickup or dropoff of a student but that violates GFSZ so.......oie its a pain
I think that's the whole point. It's more than just a pain. In a very large number (almost all) of urban and suburban locations in the United States, the GFSZA is a de facto ban on carrying a handgun. Even more so now (post-Heller and McDonald) than before, this law is just waiting for the test case that will put the final nail in the coffin of its unconstitutionality. That's why the Feds won't prosecute this law on its own, they know they will lose.

TFred
 

SouthernBoy

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Curiously, the federal statute says nothing about having to have a permit or a license to be exempt from the 1000' no-gun requirement and this is a bit confusing to most. It says in part as one of the factors which make an individual exempt;

"...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"

Notice it says nothing about a license or permit to carry the firearm but specifically a license to possess said firearm. All carrying is possessing but not all possessing means carrying. This essentially means that you must be licensed by your resident state to possess the firearm. Since many (most?) states do not require a license to possess a firearm, we are left with a quandary.

Words have meaning and one has to believe these words mean what they say. Personally the law stinks and I think the states should assert their rights and tell the feds to pound sand.
 

IcrewUH60

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Curiously, the federal statute says nothing about having to have a permit or a license to be exempt from the 1000' no-gun requirement and this is a bit confusing to most. It says in part as one of the factors which make an individual exempt;

"...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"

Notice it says nothing about a license or permit to carry the firearm but specifically a license to possess said firearm. All carrying is possessing but not all possessing means carrying. This essentially means that you must be licensed by your resident state to possess the firearm. Since many (most?) states do not require a license to possess a firearm, we are left with a quandary.

Words have meaning and one has to believe these words mean what they say. Personally the law stinks and I think the states should assert their rights and tell the feds to pound sand.
I have a federal C&R03 License to purchase and possess antique and collectible firearms. However, my state (currently) does not require a license to purchase or own firearms. Soooo, the federal GFSZ does not apply to me? Note that with a C&R03, the state does not complete the licensing or do the background check, the BATF does, but we are required to "notify" the ranking LEO (county sheriff, city police chief).
 

carry for myself

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general rule of thumb for VT. if it is a FGFZ.......do not carry. If it is posted "no guns" DO NOT CARRY.........otherwise ...carry the **** out of that thing :) and mods that was not a swear it was BIRD :) just felt like using the stars ;-) haha
 

Eagle2009

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The Federal Gun Free School Zones Act 1995 was challenged in April of 2011 based on The US Supreme Court's Heller decision. The federal judge ruled that the law is constitutional, despite Heller, and stated that the US Supreme Court had specifically endorsed the Federal Gun Free School Zones Act as being constitutional in their Heller ruling.

http://www.jsonline.com/blogs/news/119607989.html


Here is a map of the school zones in Burlington, Vermont
https://sites.google.com/site/ncagfsza95/burlingtongfsza.jpg
 
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TFred

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The Federal Gun Free School Zones Act 1995 was challenged in April of 2011 based on The US Supreme Court's Heller decision. The federal judge ruled that the law is constitutional, despite Heller, and stated that the US Supreme Court had specifically endorsed the Federal Gun Free School Zones Act as being constitutional in their Heller ruling.

http://www.jsonline.com/blogs/news/119607989.html


Here is a map of the school zones in Burlington, Vermont
https://sites.google.com/site/ncagfsza95/burlingtongfsza.jpg
Wow it just makes my blood boil when judges LIE in their opinions.

The SCOTUS specifically stated in their opinion that they did not rule on the "presumably" constitutional restrictions. That does not mean that they judged them to be constitutional, but just what it says, they did not render an opinion one way or another. Just like "innocent until proven guilty", I suppose a law is "constitutional, until judged otherwise"... But that is a far cry from what this judge stated.

There's a special place in you know where for people like these judges who abuse their authority like this. I wouldn't want to be in their shoes one day when they face their maker.

TFred
 

TFred

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If you read your own link a little closer you will see that the law that was challenged and upheld was the California Gun Free School Zone law not the federal law.

It appears to be virtually the same, a ban on all guns within 1,000 feet of school property.

As Alan Gura once said in an interview (paraphrased), "if the President can't take your gun away, but the Governor, or the Mayor can, you still don't have a gun."

TFred
 

KBCraig

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They may be the same, but the Federal government may be restricted in what it can and can't do in different ways than the state. The Feds must establish a nexus to interstate commerce, the state doesn't. The lack of any connection to interstate commerce was the reason the first Fed. GFSZ law was ruled unconstitutional.
Not since McDonald, where the 2nd was incorporated through the 14th. After McDonald, states may only deny 2A rights through due process.
 

Eagle2009

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I stand corrected, the April 2011 court case I linked to above was regarding the California law, but it was challenged and ruled on by a federal court, so the basics are the same. As for effecting interstate commerce, the 1995 law, which was written after the United States v Lopez decision, incorporated an interstate commerce "hook." This new law has been upheld by nearly every circuit at the appellate level.

See United States v Dorsey (2005) (This one specifically reviewed the changes made after the law was struck down, and found the changes were sufficient to correct the defects that had caused it to be struck down)


United States v Danks (1999)

United States v Haywood (2002)

United States v Smith (2005)


United States v Nieves Castano (2007)

United States v Weekes (2007)

United States v Benally (2007)

United States v Cruz-Rodrigues (2008)
 
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~*'Phoenix'*~

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So basically we have to legislatively destroy this writ of evil?
We should get a conservative/libertartian leaning president, and some more conservative senators and representatives, do you still we may get enough to strike this down? or at least the friggin' rediculous 1000ft bit?

If they'd just get rid of the 1000 ft. thing it'd be tolerable.
 
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