Guns in Schools in Idaho

Idaho prohibits any person from possessing a firearm on the property of a private or public elementary or secondary school or in those portions of any building, stadium or other structure on school grounds which, at the time of the violation, were being used for an activity sponsored by or through a school, or while riding school provided transportation.1

Exceptions to this prohibition include: 1) a person who lawfully possesses a firearm as part of a program, event, activity or other circumstance approved by the school board of trustees or governing board; 2) any adult not enrolled in a public or private elementary or secondary school who has lawful possession of a firearm secured and locked in his or her vehicle; 3) a person who lawfully possesses a firearm in a private vehicle while delivering minor children, students or school employees to and from school or a school activity;2 and 4) any person who is authorized by a person, board or other entity having authority over the building or facility to carry a concealed weapon.3

In addition, the board of trustees shall expel for a period of not less than one year, or may deny enrollment to, a student who possessed a firearm on school property. The board may modify the expulsion or denial of enrollment order on a case-by-case basis.4

Idaho authorizes the Board of Regents of the University of Idaho, the boards of trustees of the state colleges and universities, the board of professional-technical education and the boards of trustees of community colleges to prescribe rules and regulations relating to firearms, although this authority does not extend to enhanced concealed carry permit holders.5 Idaho law also generally prohibits a person, including a concealed carry permit holder, from carrying a concealed weapon within a student dormitory or residence hall, or within the building of a “public entertainment facility” owned by a college or university (theaters, auditoriums, sports arenas, etc., with a seating capacity of at least 1,000) provided that proper signage is conspicuously posted at each public entrance to the facility notifying attendees of any restriction on the possession of firearms in the facility during the game or event.6

See our Guns in Schools policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

 

Notes
  1. Idaho Code Ann. §§ 18-3302D(1)(a), (b), 18-3302C; see also Idaho Code Ann. § 18-3302D(1)(a).
  2. See Idaho Code Ann. § 18-3302D(4).
  3. Idaho Code Ann. § 18-3302C.
  4. Idaho Code Ann. § 33-205.
  5. Idaho Code Ann. § 18-3309.
  6. Id. These restrictions are subject to limited exceptions, and do not apply to a person who possesses a firearm in a private vehicle while delivering students, employees or other persons to and from a university, college or public entertainment facility. Id.

Guns in Schools in California

Grades K through 12: California prohibits any person from possessing a firearm in a place that person knows, or reasonably should know, is a school zone.1 “School zone” is defined as an area in, or on the grounds of, a public or private school providing instruction in kindergarten or grades one to twelve, inclusive, or within a distance of 1,000 feet from the grounds of the public or private school.2 However, a person may possess a firearm in a school zone:

  • By written permission of the school district superintendent, his or her designee, or equivalent school authority;3
  • Within a place of residence or place of business or on private property, if that location is not part of the school grounds and the possession of the firearm is otherwise lawful;4
  • When the firearm is an unloaded handgun and is in a locked container or within the locked trunk of a motor vehicle;5
  • For the lawful transportation of any other firearm, other than a handgun, in accordance with state law;6
  • When the person possessing the firearm reasonably believes that he or she is in grave danger because of circumstances forming the basis of a current restraining order issued by a court against another person or persons who has or have been found to pose a threat to his or her life or safety.7 This exception does not apply in certain circumstances involving a mutual restraining order;8
  • When the person is a licensed gun dealer, manufacturer, importer, or wholesaler, or a member of an authorized military or civilian organization when parading, and the gun is unloaded;9
  • When the person is a guard or messenger of a common carrier or bank who, within the course of his or her employment, transports or delivers money or other valuables;10 or
  • When the person is a duly appointed peace officer, honorably retired police officer, or security guard authorized to carry a concealed firearm under state law.11

These restrictions also do not apply to existing shooting ranges at public or private schools or university or college campuses.12

Until the enactment of SB 707 in 2015, concealed weapons license holders were also exempt from these restrictions and were authorized to carry handguns and ammunition in schools or school zones.13  However, California law now requires that concealed weapons license holders obtain written permission from authorized school officials before carrying firearms or ammunition onto the grounds of K-12 schools, colleges, or universities.14

SB 707 also clarified that individuals may carry ammunition onto school grounds without prior written authorization if the ammunition is kept within a locked container or within the locked trunk of a motor vehicle.15

See the Non-Powder Guns in California section for information about non-powder guns in schools.

The principal or superintendent of a school or school system must immediately suspend, and recommend the expulsion of, any pupil that he or she determines has possessed a firearm, or sold or furnished a firearm to others, either at school or at a school activity off school grounds, provided that another employee of the school district has verified the pupil’s possession of a firearm.16 However, a pupil may obtain prior written permission to possess a firearm from a certificated school employee, if the principal or a designee of the principal concurs.17

The superintendent or principal of a school is also authorized to suspend and recommend for expulsion any pupil who possesses an imitation firearm. An “imitation firearm” is any replica of a firearm that is so substantially similar in physical properties to an existing firearm that a reasonable person would consider it a firearm.18

With limited exceptions, no person may carry ammunition or reloaded ammunition onto school grounds.19

Colleges and universities: California generally prohibits a person from bringing or possessing a firearm, whether loaded or unloaded, upon the grounds of a public or private university or college campus, or any buildings owned or operated for student housing, teaching, research, or administration by a public or private university or college, which are contiguous or are clearly marked university property.20 Universities and colleges must post prominent notices at primary entrances on non-contiguous school property stating that firearms are prohibited on that property.21 Possession of a firearm on university or college property is allowed if the university or college president or an equivalent authority has granted permission in writing.22 Concealed weapons licensees were exempt from this prohibition until the enactment of SB 707 in 2015.23 However, California law now requires that concealed weapons license holders obtain written permission from authorized school officials before carrying firearms or ammunition onto college and university campuses, unless the unloaded firearm or ammunition is kept in a locked container or within the locked trunk of a motor vehicle.24

See our Guns in Schools policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Notes
  1. Cal. Penal Code § 626.9(b).
  2. Cal. Penal Code § 626.9(e)(1).
  3. Cal. Penal Code § 626.9(b).
  4. Cal. Penal Code § 626.9(c)(1).
  5. Cal. Penal Code § 626.9(c)(2).
  6. Id.
  7. Cal. Penal Code § 626.9(c)(3).
  8. Id. (referencing Cal. Fam. Code § 6200 et seq.).
  9. Cal. Penal Code § 626.9(c)(4) (referencing §§ 25615, 25625).
  10. Cal. Penal Code § 626.9(c)(4) (referencing §§ 25630 and 25645).
  11. Cal. Penal Code § 626.9(l), (m), (o).
  12. Cal. Penal Code § 626.9(n).
  13. See former Cal. Penal Code § 626.9(l).
  14. Cal. Penal Code §§ 626.9(b), (c), 30310.
  15. Cal. Penal Code § 30310(b)(10).
  16. Cal. Educ. Code §§ 48900(b), 48915(c)(1).
  17. Id.
  18. Cal. Educ. Code §§ 48900(m), 48915(c)(1).
  19. Cal. Penal Code § 30310(a). This requirement does not apply to peace officers, members of the military, or armored vehicle guards carrying out their official duties, to concealed weapons license holders, or to individuals who have the written permission of the school district superintendent or equivalent school authority. Cal. Penal Code § 30310(b).
  20. Cal. Penal Code § 626.9(h), (i).
  21. Id.
  22. Id.
  23. See former Cal. Penal Code § 626.9(l).
  24. Cal. Penal Code §§ 626.9(b), (c), 30310.

Guns in Schools in New York

New York makes it a felony offense for any person, including a handgun license holder, to knowingly possess a firearm in or upon a building or grounds, used for educational purposes, of any school, college or university (except the forestry lands owned and maintained by the State University of New York), or upon a school bus without the written permission of the institution.1

New York law instructs the Governor to establish “School Safety Improvement Teams,” which may be composed of representatives from the Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services, the Division of State Police, the Division of Criminal Justice Services, and the Department of Education.  These teams will review, assess, and make recommendations to improve school safety plans submitted on a voluntary basis by school districts having a population of less than 125,000.2

In January, 2013, New York law was amended to allow school districts that purchase various security devices (stationary metal detectors, security cameras, etc.) included in their School Safety Plans to receive state building aid reimbursement at a rate ten percent higher than their prior building aid ratio.  The Commissioner of Education will annually set a special cost allowance for metal detectors and security cameras, and approved expenditures must not exceed this allowance.3

See our Guns in Schools policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Notes
  1. N.Y. Penal Law §§ 265.01(3), 265.01-a.  New York also prohibits any person age 16 or older from knowingly possessing any air-gun, spring-gun or other instrument or weapon in which the propelling force is a spring, air, piston or CO2 cartridge in or upon a building or grounds, used for educational purposes, of any school, college or university, without the written authorization of such educational institution. N.Y. Penal Law § 265.06.
  2. N.Y. Ed. Law § 2801-b.
  3. N.Y. Ed. Law § 3602(6-c)(B).

Guns in Schools in Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania prohibits the possession of firearms in the buildings of, on the grounds of, or in any conveyance providing transportation to or from any elementary or secondary publicly-funded educational institution, any elementary or secondary private school licensed by the Department of Education or any elementary or secondary parochial school.1 However, a defense to the statute exists where the weapon is possessed and used in conjunction with a lawful supervised school activity or course or “is possessed for other lawful purpose.”2

State law prohibits hunting with a firearm in a “safety zone,” defined as an area within 150 yards of “any attached or detached playground of any school, nursery school or day-care center.”3

Holders of a license to carry a firearm are subject to these location limits.

See our Guns in Schools policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Notes
  1. 18 Pa. Cons. Stat. Ann. § 912.
  2. 18 Pa. Cons. Stat. Ann. § 912(c).
  3. 34 Pa. Cons. Stat. Ann. § 2505(a), (c).

Guns in Schools in Ohio

Ohio prohibits any person from knowingly possessing a firearm in a “school safety zone.”1 Ohio also prohibits the knowing possession in a school safety zone of any object indistinguishable from a firearm, whether or not it is capable of being fired, if the possessor indicates that he or she possesses the object and that it is a firearm, or the person knowingly displays or brandishes the object and indicates that it is a firearm.2 A “school safety zone” consists of any school, school building, school premises, school activity or school bus.3

This prohibition does not apply to a concealed handgun license holder who possesses a handgun in a school safety zone if the person does not enter into a school building or onto school premises and is not at a school activity and is in compliance with federal law.4 This prohibition also does not apply to concealed handgun license holder who possesses a handgun in a school safety zone as the driver or passenger in a motor vehicle while immediately in the process of picking up or dropping off a child.5

A concealed handgun license does not authorize a person to carry a concealed handgun on premises owned or leased by a college, university or other institution of higher education, unless the handgun is in a locked motor vehicle.6

The superintendent of schools of a city, exempted village, or local school district must expel a pupil from school for a period of one year if the pupil brings a firearm to a school operated by the board of education of the district or onto any other property owned or controlled by the board.7 The superintendent may expel a pupil from school for a period of one year for bringing a firearm to an interscholastic competition, an extracurricular event, or any other school program or activity that is not located in a school or on property that is owned or controlled by the district.8 The superintendent may reduce these disciplinary actions on case-by-case bases in accordance with board policy.9

See our Guns in Schools policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Notes
  1. Ohio Rev. Code § 2923.122(B).
  2. Ohio Rev. Code § 2923.122(C).
  3. Ohio Rev. Code § 2901.01(C)(1).
  4. Ohio Rev. Code § 2923.122(D)(3).
  5. Ohio Rev. Code § 2923.122(D)(4).
  6. Ohio Rev. Code § 2923.126(B)(5).
  7. Ohio Rev. Code § 3313.66(B)(2)(a).
  8. Ohio Rev. Code § 3313.66(B)(2)(b).
  9. Ohio Rev. Code § 3313.66(B)(2)(a), (b).

Guns in Schools in New Jersey

New Jersey prohibits the knowing possession of any firearm in or upon any part of the buildings or grounds of any school, college, university or other educational institution without the written authorization of the governing officer of the institution.1 This prohibition applies irrespective of whether the possessor has a valid permit to carry the firearm or a valid Firearms Purchaser Identification Card.2

The state also prohibits any person from knowingly possessing specified weapons3 or any components which can readily be assembled into a firearm “under circumstances not manifestly appropriate for…lawful use” while in or upon any part of the buildings or grounds of any school, college, university or other educational institution without the written authorization of the governing officer of the institution.4

In addition, New Jersey prohibits the knowing possession of any imitation firearm in or upon any part of the buildings or grounds of any school, college, university or other educational institution without the written authorization of the governing officer of the institution, or while on any school bus.5

Any pupil convicted of or adjudicated delinquent for possession of a firearm or a crime while armed with a firearm, or found knowingly in possession of a firearm on any school property, on a school bus, or at a school-sponsored function, shall be immediately removed from the school’s regular education program pending a hearing before the local board of education to remove the pupil from the regular education program for a period of not less than one calendar year.6 This is subject to modification on a case-by-case basis by the chief school administrator. Any pupil removed from the regular education program shall be placed in an alternative education program. If placement in an alternative education program is not available, the pupil shall be provided home instruction or other suitable facilities and programs until alternative placement is available.7

Finally, no person shall, for the purpose of hunting, taking or killing any wildlife, have in his or her possession a loaded firearm while within 450 feet of any school playground.8

State regulations provide that a district board of education shall immediately remove any student from school for a period of not less than one calendar year if the student has been:

  • Convicted or adjudicated delinquent for possession of a firearm on any school grounds, including on a school bus or at a school-sponsored function;
  • Convicted or adjudicated delinquent for committing a crime while in possession of a firearm on school grounds, including on a school bus or at a school-sponsored function; or
  • Found knowingly in possession of a firearm on any school grounds, including on a school bus or at a school-sponsored function.9

Exceptions to these punitive measures include firearms that are lawfully stored in a locked vehicle on school grounds, or guns used for activities approved and authorized by the district board of education, so long as the district board of education adopts appropriate safeguards to ensure student safety.10

See our Guns in Schools policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Notes
  1. N.J. Stat. Ann. § 2C:39-5e(1).
  2. Id.
  3. Stun guns and any weapon or device that projects, releases, or emits tear gas or any other substance intended to produce temporary physical discomfort or permanent injury through being vaporized or otherwise dispensed in the air, per N.J. Stat. Ann. § 2C:39-1r(4).
  4. N.J. Stat. Ann. § 2C:39-5e(2).
  5. N.J. Stat. Ann. § 2C:39-5e(3).
  6. N.J. Stat. Ann. § 18A:37-8.
  7. Id.
  8. N.J. Stat. Ann. § 23:4-16d.
  9. N.J. Admin. Code § 6A:16-5.5(a), (b).
  10. N.J. Admin. Code § 6A:16-5.5(j).

Guns in Schools in Massachusetts

See our Guns in Schools policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Massachusetts prohibits carrying a firearm on the grounds of any elementary or secondary school, college or university without the written authorization of the board or officer in charge of such elementary or secondary school, college or university.1 Massachusetts also penalizes an officer in charge of an elementary or secondary school, college or university or any faculty member or administrative officer of an elementary or secondary school, college or university who fails to report a violation of this rule.2

 

Notes
  1. Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 269, § 10(j).
  2. Id.

Guns in Schools in Wisconsin

Wisconsin prohibits the knowing possession of a firearm at a place the individual knows, or has reasonable cause to believe, is within 1,000 feet of the grounds of a school.1 This prohibition does not apply to:

  • Private property which is not part of school grounds;
  • When the firearm is possessed for use in a program approved by a school in the school zone;
  • When possessed unloaded while traversing school grounds to gain access to public or private lands open to hunting, if the entry is authorized by school authorities;
  • When the firearm is unloaded and encased or in a locked firearm rack on a motor vehicle; or
  • When the person is legally hunting in a school forest if the school board has decided that hunting may be allowed there.2

This prohibition also does not apply to individuals licensed to carry a concealed weapon so long as they are not in or on the grounds of the school.3

Wisconsin law provides that school boards of common or union high school districts shall expel a pupil from school for not less than one year whenever it finds that the pupil, while at school or while under the supervision of a school authority, possessed a firearm.4

At all universities in the University of Wisconsin system, no person may carry or possess any firearm, whether loaded or unloaded, on university lands or in university buildings or facilities, except with the written approval of the chief administrative officer or for law enforcement purposes.5 In addition, no person may display or portray as real any object that resembles a dangerous weapon on university lands or in university buildings or facilities, except with the written approval of the chief administrative officer.6

See our Guns in Schools policy summary for comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Notes
  1. Wis. Stat. § 948.605(2)(a).
  2. Wis. Stat. § 948.605(2)(b) (referring to 18 U.S.C. § 922(q)(2)(B)(i), (iv), (v), (vi), (vii) ).
  3. Wis. Stat. § 948.605(2)(b)(1r).
  4. Wis. Stat. § 120.13(1)(c)(2m).
  5. Wis. Adm. Code UWS § 18.10(3)(a), (d).
  6. Wis. Adm. Code UWS § 18.10(3)(b), (d).

Guns in Schools in Illinois

Elementary & Secondary Schools

Illinois prohibits the knowing possession or carrying of any firearm, stun gun, or taser on or about the person in any public or private elementary or secondary school, on the person or in a vehicle on the real property of any school, in any conveyance owned, leased or contracted by a school to transport students to or from school or a school-related activity, or on the person or in a vehicle on any public way within 1,000 feet of the real property comprising a school.1

This prohibition is subject to various exceptions, including possession in any vehicle or concealed on or about the person when transported: 1) broken down in a non-functioning state; 2) not immediately accessible; or 3) unloaded and enclosed in a case, firearm carrying box, shipping box, or other container by a person who has a valid FOID card.2 Nor does this prohibition apply to law enforcement officers or school security officers or to students carrying or possessing firearms for us in training courses, parades, hunting target shooting on school ranges, or otherwise with the consent of school authorities as long as such firearms are transported unloaded enclosed in a suitable case, box, or transportation package.  ((720 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/24-1 (c)(3).))

Finally, state law prohibits any person age 18 or older from selling, giving, or delivering any firearm to any person under age 18 in any public or private elementary or secondary school, or on the real property comprising any such school.3

In Illinois, a school board must expel a student who possessed a firearm or other weapon at school, any school-sponsored activity or event, or any activity or event which bears a reasonable relationship to school, for not less than one year.4 The expulsion period may be modified by the superintendent, and the superintendent’s determination may be modified by the board, on a case-by-case basis. A student subject to suspension or expulsion may be eligible for a transfer to an alternative school program.5

Illinois law also defines aggravated battery with a firearm to include knowingly or intentionally causing injury with a firearm to a person known to be a teacher, school employee, or student who is on school grounds or adjacent to a school.  This is punishable with a minimum prison sentence of 15 years.6

Possession of a silencer, machine gun, or short-barreled shotgun in any public or private elementary or secondary school or within 1,000 feet of the real property comprising a school is a Class 2 felony punishable by a prison sentence of 3 to 7 years.7  The possession of various other weapons in any such areas, including black-jacks, metal knuckles, dirks, and switchblades is punishable as a Class 4 felony8

Colleges & Universities

Illinois prohibits the knowing possession or carrying of any firearm on or about the person in any community college, college, or university, on the person or in a vehicle on the real property comprising any such school, in any conveyance owned, leased or contracted by a school to transport students to or from school or a school-related activity, or on the person or in a vehicle on any public way within 1,000 feet of the real property comprising such a school.9

This prohibition is subject to several exceptions, including possession for use in training courses, parades, hunting, target shooting on school ranges, or otherwise with the consent of school authorities.10 The possession of a firearm by a FOID card holder is allowed in any vehicle or concealed on or about the person when transported: 1) broken down in a non-functioning state; 2) not immediately accessible; or 3) unloaded and enclosed in a case, firearm carrying box, shipping box, or other container.11

Illinois prohibits any person age 18 or older from selling, giving or delivering any firearm to any person under age 18 in any community college, college or university, or on the real property comprising any such school.12

See our Guns in Schools policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Notes
  1. 720 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/24-1(a)(4), (10), (c)(1.5), (4).
  2. 720 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/24-1(a)(4), (10).
  3. 720 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/24-3.3. See also 720 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/24-3(A)(a), (b), (i), (C)(4).
  4. 105 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/10-22.6(d).
  5. Id.
  6. 720 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/12-4.2(a)(4), (b).
  7. 720 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/24-1(a)(6), (7), (c)(1).
  8. 720 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/24-1 (c)(2).
  9. 720 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/24-1(a)(4), (10), (c)(1.5), (4).
  10. 720 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/24-1(a)(4), (10), (c)(3).
  11. 720 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/24-1(a)(4), (10).
  12. 720 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/24-3.3.

Guns in Schools in North Carolina

North Carolina law prohibits any person, including a concealed handgun permittee, from knowingly carrying a firearm, whether openly or concealed, on educational property or at a curricular or extracurricular activity sponsored by a public or private primary school, community college, college or university.1  A law enacted in 2015, however, allows a person with a concealed handgun permit to carry a firearm in a vehicle on school grounds but the person may only unlock the door to let someone in or out and move the firearm inside the car while the door is locked.2

See our Guns in Schools policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Notes
  1. N.C. Gen. Stat. § 14-269.2(a) and (b).
  2. Id. at (k).