(the bill was introduced by our old friend Diamond Joe "Shotgun-through-the-Door" Biden... and signed into law by the oldest RINO, G.H.W. Bush.)
18 U.S.C. § 922(q)(2)(A) 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)(3)(A) states:
Except as provided in subparagraph (B), it shall be unlawful for any person, knowingly or with reckless disregard for the safety of another, to discharge or attempt to discharge a firearm that has moved in or that otherwise affects interstate or foreign commerce at a place that the person knows is a school zone.
Pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 922(q)(2)(B):
[18 U.S.C. § 922(q)(2)(A)] does not apply to the possession of a firearm—
(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 is—
(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.
Pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 922(q)(3)(B):
[18 U.S.C. § 922(q)(3)(A)] does not apply to the discharge of a firearm—
(i) on private property not part of school grounds;
(ii) as part of a program approved by a school in the school zone, by an individual who is participating in the program;
(iii) by an individual in accordance with a contract entered into between a school in a school zone and the individual or an employer of the individual; or
(iv) by a law enforcement officer acting in his or her official capacity.
Pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 921(a)(25):
The term "school zone" means—
(A) in, or on the grounds of, a public, parochial or private school; or
(B) within a distance of 1,000 feet from the grounds of a public, parochial or private school.
Pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 921(a)(26) the term "school" means a school which provides elementary or secondary education, as determined under State law.
18 U.S.C. § 924(a)(4) establishes the penalty for violating GFSZA:
Whoever violates the Act shall be fined not more than $5,000, imprisoned for not more than 5 years, or both. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the term of imprisonment imposed under this paragraph shall not run concurrently with any other term of imprisonment imposed under any other provision of law.
A conviction under the GFSZA will cause an individual to become a "prohibited person" under the Gun Control Act of 1968. This will bar them from legally owning firearms for the rest of their life.
Individuals traveling on public sidewalks, roads, and highways within 1000 feet of defined schools are subject to the law's legal restrictions. The First Circuit Court of Appeals sustained a GFSZA conviction in the 2007 case of United States v Nieves-Castaño for a firearm kept in a woman's apartment, which was part of a public housing project within 1000 feet of a school. In 2012, ATF informed the town of Stratham, New Hampshire, that hunters would be violating GFSZA by hunting on locally approved public hunting land, a town forest, which fell within 1000 feet of a local school.
Most states allow some form of unlicensed carry by persons who are not prohibited by statute from owning or possessing firearms. This may be open-carry, vehicle-carry, or concealed carry without the need for a permit. The Federal GFSZA prohibits unlicensed carry by making it a federal crime for an unlicensed individual to travel into a "Gun Free School Zone unless they meet one of the other criteria defined in Section 'B'." The large number of K-12 schools in developed areas makes it difficult for an individual to travel any distance without entering a Gun Free School Zone.
Although the Federal GFSZA does provide an exception for an individual licensed to carry a firearm, this exception only applies in the State that physically issued the permit. Nearly all fifty States have provisions to issue concealed carry permits to citizens. Most of these States also enter into reciprocity agreements with other States where each State agrees to recognize the other's concealed carry permits. Because the Federal GFSZA requires the permit be issued by the State which the school zone is in, it is difficult for a permit holder to travel outside their State of issuance to a reciprocating State without violating the Federal GFSZA.
The Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act (LEOSA), intended to allow qualified law enforcement officers the ability to carry guns nationwide, does not provide any exceptions to Federal Law per 18 U.S.C. § 926B. GFSZA does not make any exception for an off-duty qualified officer.
GFSZA generally prohibits anyone from discharging a firearm on public property within a school zone. Legal exceptions are made for on-duty law enforcement and contracted school security.
State law is mostly covered by 13-3102:http://www.azleg.gov/viewdocument/?docN ... /03102.htm