The Fact about Gun in School

1. To draw a better picture of the reality of mass shootings in the United States, Martin Shield identified every mass shooting we were able to find in the United States from 2013 - 2018. This analysis almost all states prohibit guns in K–12 schools, but only 40 states and Washington DC extend this prohibition to people who have been granted a permit to carry a concealed weapon (CCW permit holders)

2. Federal law prohibits guns at K-12 schools with dangerous exceptions:The Gun-Free School Zones Act (GFSZA) prohibits any person from knowingly possessing a firearm that has moved in or otherwise affects interstate or foreign commerce at a place the individual knows, or has reasonable cause to believe, is a school zone.33 The GFSZA defines “school zone” as:

      • In, or on the grounds of, a public, parochial or private school that provides elementary or secondary education, or
      • Within a distance of 1,000 feet from the grounds of a public, parochial or private school that provides elementary or secondary education.34
      • However, the federal prohibition against possessing a gun in a school zone does not apply to people licensed by a state or locality to possess a gun.35 This exception covers many people licensed to possess firearms or to carry concealed firearms.36 In addition, the federal GFSZA allows firearm possession in school zones if:
      • The firearm is unloaded and “in a locked container, or a locked firearms rack that is on a motor vehicle,”37
      • The firearm is possessed for use in a program approved by a school, or in accordance with a contract entered into between a school and the individual or an employer of the individual.38
    1. Federal law requires K-12 schools to expel students for gun possession - The Gun-Free Schools Act (GFSA) was enacted in 1994 as a response to increasing levels of gun violence in schools.39 Unlike the GFSZA, which applies to any person possessing a firearm in the defined prohibited areas, the GFSA focuses on student behavior, penalizing students to deter them from bringing firearms to school.40
      • The current GFSA, effective as of 2002, requires that states receiving certain federal funds require local educational agencies to expel students from school for a minimum period of one year if they bring a firearm to school or possess one at school.41 The GFSA also requires that, in order to receive federal funds, each local educational agency must:
      • Refer any student who brings a firearm to a school served by the agency to the criminal justice or juvenile delinquency system.42
      • Annually provide an assurance that the local educational agency is in compliance with the state expulsion law.43 and
      • Annually provide a description of the circumstances surrounding any expulsions imposed under the state expulsion law.44
      • The GFSA expressly permits firearm possession if the gun is lawfully stored inside a locked vehicle on school property, or if the gun is possessed for a school activity approved and authorized by the local educational agency (if appropriate safeguards have been adopted to ensure student safety).45 The GFSA also allows states to permit the chief administering officer of a local educational agency to modify an expulsion for a student, in writing, on a case-by-case basis.46 To date, the GFSA has not been challenged.
    1. Most states ban guns at K-12 schools, but some allow concealed carry. The vast majority of states—47 of them—and the District of Columbia prohibit carrying or possessing a firearm on K–12 school property, within safe school or gun-free school zones, on school-provided transportation, or at school-sponsored events. Only Hawaii, New Hampshire, and Wyoming do not generally prohibit people from bringing guns onto the property of K–12 schools.215
      • However, only 40 states and DC extend their laws prohibiting guns at K–12 schools to people who have a concealed weapons permit.216 Two additional states somewhat regulate concealed carry of firearms at K–12 schools: Kansas allows such schools to ban concealed carry, while Arizona requires public schools to prohibit all firearms unless the carrier has gotten specific authorization from school administrators, but allows private schools to decide whether or not to allow concealed carry of firearms on their property for approved events.217 The remaining eight states either allow concealed weapons permit holders to carry guns at K–12 schools, or have no law addressing the subject:
      • Among the 40 states and DC that generally prohibit concealed carry permit holders from bringing firearms to K–12 schools, one notable exception common to these states’ laws is where an adult is in lawful possession of a firearm, and the firearm is within a vehicle when the adult is dropping off or picking up a student on school property. Other common exceptions include:
        • Guns locked in vehicles on school property;
        • Guns possessed for hunting or safety courses, school-authorized sports or recreation activities, or military or peace officer training;
        • Lawful possession of a gun within a residence, place of business, or other private property that lies within a school zone but is not part of the school grounds or property;
        • Guns possessed while hunting on school grounds or traversing school grounds to access hunting lands during hunting season; and