Bleg for Laws regarding licensed carry in educational institutions:

I would like to ask commenters to supply specific information regarding state laws which ban (or do not ban) persons with concealed handgun permits from carrying in K-12 schools, day care centers, or colleges/universities. If the law is silent on the subject (as, for example, in Virginia and Colorado regarding universities), it would be helpful to also cite any other information that is available about practices in the relevant state. (E.g., Virginia's legislative defeat of an attempt to outlaw the college ban; the Colorado Attorney General opinion that the University of Colorado regents have the authority to enact a gun ban, unless there is a specific statute saying that they cannot.) If possible, please supply the relevant statutory or case law cites. Please do not rely on newspaper articles. My guess is that statutory college bans are much less common than people might think, and that even though K-12 bans are common, there may be exceptions in states other than Utah.

My request applies not only to the 40 shall issue/do issue states, but also to the 8 states with capricious issue, plus Illinois (no process for permits, but certain classes of people are automatically entitled to concealed carry).

Massachusetts bans the carrying of firearms on any school grounds without prior written permission. There is an LEO exception.
5.8.2007 1:12pm
I'm no lawyer, but I think Texas Penal Code 46.03a(1) covers this with 46.03f making it clear that a CHL is no defense to prosecution. The crime is a 3rd degree felony.
5.8.2007 1:21pm
Philistine (mail):

18 Pa. C.S.A Section § 912. Possession of weapon on school property.
(a) Definition.--Notwithstanding the definition of "weapon" in section 907 (relating to possessing instruments of crime), "weapon" for purposes of this section shall include but not be limited to any knife, cutting instrument, cutting tool, nun-chuck stick, firearm, shotgun, rifle and any other tool, instrument or implement capable of inflicting serious bodily injury.

(b) Offense defined.--A person commits a misdemeanor of the first degree if he possesses a weapon 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.

(c) Defense.--It shall be a defense that the weapon is possessed and used in conjunction with a lawful supervised school activity or course or is possessed for other lawful purpose.

No laws on Colleges.

Not sure what the "possessed for other lawful purposes" covers (in PA, open carry is legal other than in Philadelphia).
5.8.2007 1:25pm
Wyre (mail):
Minnesota Statutes Section 609.66, Subd. 1d provides that "it is a misdemeanor for a person authorized to carry a firearm under the provisions of a permit or otherwise to carry a firearm on or about the person's clothes or person in a location the person knows is school property."

The permit statute itself, Minn. Stat. Section 624.714, Subd. 18, provides in relevant part: "(a) An employer, whether public or private, may establish policies that restrict the carry or possession of firearms by its employees while acting in the course and scope of employment. Employment related civil sanctions may be invoked for a violation. (b) A public postsecondary institution regulated under chapter 136F or 137 may establish policies that restrict the carry or possession of firearms by its students while on the institution's property. Academic sanctions may be invoked for a violation." Chapters 136F and 137 establish/regulate Minnesota State Colleges and the University of Minnesota respectively.

Hope this helps.
5.8.2007 1:29pm
Oregon does not ban carrying of firearms on school grounds.

The primary statute governing firearms in Oregon is Oregon Revised Statute 166. 166.170 covers preemption, which exists in Oregon.

Interestingly, there are a couple of battles going on in the state about preemption and the legality of agency rules.

1) Port of Portland: Port of Portland has posted rules that it is illegal to carry firearms on Port property. A number of legislators and legislative counsel have stated that this violates ORS 166, but the Port has decided to go ahead. This is far from resolved.

2) Oregon University System (OUS) Chancellor's office (which covers the public higher ed general universities like OSU and UofO), has emplaced a rule prohibiting firearms on campus, despite the fact that the only authority legally able to do so is the Legislature. A student backed by the Oregon Firearms Federation filed suit against this policy, but was found to lack standing (IIRC): Stubbs v University of Oregon.
5.8.2007 1:31pm
George Lyon (mail):
Slightly off topic, but the DC Circuit just denied rehearing in Parker v. DC.
5.8.2007 1:33pm
Yankev (mail):
Ohio has a general ban on having a weapon in a school safety zone, with exception for CCW permit holders who are just passing by and do not enter the building: Ohio Revised Code 2923.122.

The CCW permit does not permit carry in a school safety zone except as allowed by RC 2923.122. See RC 2923.126(B).
5.8.2007 1:34pm
Yankev (mail):
Ohio Rev. Code 2923.126(B) also says that a CCW permit does not authorize carry in "Any premises owned or leased by any public or private college, university, or other institution of higher education, unless the handgun is in a locked motor vehicle or the licensee is in the immediate process of placing the handgun in a locked motor vehicle" nor in any "Any building that is owned by this state or any political subdivision of this state, and all portions of any building that is not owned by any governmental entity listed in this division but that is leased by such a governmental entity listed in this division."
5.8.2007 1:38pm
ak47pundit (www):

MCL 750.237a (weapon free school zone violation).

MCL 28.425o Premises on which carrying concealed weapon prohibited
(a) school or school property (including parking lots unless you're dropping off or picking up your kid and it can only be in the vehicle)
(b) A public or private child care center or day care center, public or private child caring institution, or public or private child placing agency.
(h) A dormitory or classroom of a community college, college, or university.
5.8.2007 1:42pm
Houston Lawyer:

The "other lawful purposes" is meant to cover baseball bats and other such weapons.
5.8.2007 1:44pm
The State of Michigan’s gun free zones, which do not apply to retired police officers, or reserve police officers, are set forth at MCLA 28.425o.
Under the law, the banned area includes all K-12 schools, public and private, with the exception that a parent or guardian dropping off or picking up their child may have their firearm in their car in the parking lot.
An additional banned zone is a preschool or day care center. Because of statutory vagueness, unlike the definition of schools, it is unclear if the banned area only includes the portion of a building used as a preschool or day care center, or includes the entire property and structure. By statutory definition, the bannedarea does not include the parking lot of the preschool or day care center
Turning to colleges, community colleges, and universities, the area excluded includes only classrooms and dormitories.
However, please note that even though Michigan has a firearms preemption law, the University of Michigan has asserted that it is a special, separate, unit of government and therefore has enacted what it claims are laws banning firearms everywhere on campus, including University apartments and University owned townhouses offered for regular lease.
While firearms activists in Michigan have considered challenging this definition in court, given the University’s willingness to pursue litigation to the Supreme Court level, no one has stepped forward to be a test case yet.
5.8.2007 1:46pm
Pol Mordreth (mail):
According to the back of my Georgia CCW permit,

"16-11-127 Carrying deadly weapons to or at public gatherings:
(a) A person is guilty of a misdemeanor when he carries to or while at public gathering any explosive compound, firearm, or knife designed for the purpose of offense or defense.
(b) For the purposes of this Code section, public gathering shall include, but shall not be limited to, athletic or sporting events, schools or school functions, churches or church functions, political rallies or functions, publicly owned or operated buildings, or establishments at which alcoholic beverages are sold for consumption on the premises.
(c) This Code section shall not apply to competitors participating in organized sport shooting events. Law enforcement officers, peace officers retired from state or federal enforcement agencies, judges, magistrates, solicitors, and district attorneys may carry pistols in publicly owned or operated buildings."

I read this to mean you really don't want to try anything in a rural county courthouse! everyone but you can be armed! (heh)

5.8.2007 2:00pm
Florida Statutes 790.115 (Link) generally prohibits possession of weapons on school property with limited exceptions, and reduced penalty if the offense is committed by a CWP holder.
5.8.2007 2:05pm
Dan Schmutter:
New Jersey:

N.J.S.A. 2C:39-5e.(1) provides:

Any person who knowingly has in his possession 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, is guilty of a crime in the third degree, irrespective of whether he possesses a valid permit to carry the firearm or a valid firearms purchaser identifiation card.

N.J.S.A. 2C:39-6 then goes on to provide some exemptions.

5.8.2007 2:16pm
There's a bit more in Georgia's code that applies directly to schools - OCGA 16-11-127.1(b)

" shall be unlawful for any person to carry to or to possess or have under such person's control while within a school safety zone or at a school building, school function, or school property or on a bus or other transportation furnished by the school any weapon or explosive compound, other than fireworks the possession of which is regulated by Chapter 10 of Title 25."

There is an interesting exception for:
"(6) A person who has been authorized in writing by a duly authorized official of the school to have in such person's possession or use as part of any activity being conducted at a school building, school property, or school function a weapon which would otherwise be prohibited by this Code section."
5.8.2007 2:35pm
M-K (mail):

No CCW in Gun Free Zones, which extend 1,000 feet around all schools. (A personal annoyance, since I can't walk my dog off my own property while armed without intruding into two such zones!) Also forbidden to CCW at any school-sponsored events, on school buses, etc. College CCW not clear under the law, but apparently universally forbidden by the colleges themselves. (By posting their property, CCW becomes illegal on that property.)
5.8.2007 2:39pm
Can somebody real briefly explain the difference between capricious issue, shall issue, can issue, etc? And if I'm adding right, 40 + 8 + Illinois leaves 1 state, my state of Wisconsin?
5.8.2007 2:40pm
Captain Ned:
Vermont is a capricious issue state, as we have no permit system. Concealed carry is legal for all without any need to apply for permits. The only legal requirement is an the lack of any intent to breach the peace with said concealed weapon, covered in 13 VSA §4003 "Carrying dangerous weapons":

"A person who carries a dangerous or deadly weapon, openly or concealed, with the intent or avowed purpose of injuring a fellow man, or who carries a dangerous or deadly weapon within any state institution or upon the grounds or lands owned or leased for the use of such institution, without the approval of the warden or superintendent of the institution, shall be imprisoned not more than two years or fined not more than $200.00, or both."

This section of state statutes originated in 1892 and hasn't been touched since the last general recodification of Vermont Statutes in 1947. Given the age of the statute, institution here appears to mean a penal or mental institution.

As for gun-free school zones, there's 13 VSA §4004 "Possession of dangerous or deadly weapon in a school bus or school building or on school property":

(a) No person shall knowingly possess a firearm or a dangerous or deadly weapon while within a school building or on a school bus. A person who violates this section shall, for the first offense, be imprisoned not more than one year or fined not more than $1,000.00, or both, and for a second or subsequent offense shall be imprisoned not more than three years or fined not more than $5,000.00, or both.

(b) No person shall knowingly possess a firearm or a dangerous or deadly weapon on any school property with the intent to injure another person. A person who violates this section shall, for the first offense, be imprisoned not more than two years or fined not more than $1,000.00, or both, and for a second or subsequent offense shall be imprisoned not more than three years or fined not more than $5,000.00, or both.

(c) This section shall not apply to:

(1) A law enforcement officer while engaged in law enforcement duties.

(2) Possession and use of firearms or dangerous or deadly weapons if the board of school directors, or the superintendent or principal if delegated authority to do so by the board, authorizes possession or use for specific occasions or for instructional or other specific purposes.

(d) As used in this section:

(1) "School property" means any property owned by a school, including motor vehicles.

(2) "Owned by the school" means owned, leased, controlled or subcontracted by the school.

(3) "Dangerous or deadly weapon" has the meaning defined in section 4016 of this title.

(4) "Firearm" has the meaning defined in section 4016 of this title.

(5) "Law enforcement officer" has the meaning defined in section 4016 of this title.

(e) The provisions of this section shall not limit or restrict any prosecution for any other offense, including simple assault or aggravated assault.

This section also originated in 1892. Up until the most recent revision in 1999 what is now subsection c(2), creating an exception to the general rule, was part of the general rule in subsection (a).
5.8.2007 3:09pm
Of all places, California allows licensed CCW on school grounds: PC 12050 is the section governing CCW, PC 626.9 establishes the Gun-Free School Zones. 626.9(l) establishes the exception.
5.8.2007 3:14pm
Eduardo S:
New Mexico :

30-7-2.4. Unlawful carrying of a firearm on university premises; notice; penalty.

A. Unlawful carrying of a firearm on university premises consists of carrying a firearm on university premises except by: [ snip - no exclusion for CCW holders ]

C. As used in this section: [ snip - definition of "university" and "university premises" ]
5.8.2007 3:14pm
David W. Hess (mail):
Missouri has an extensive list of places including schools without consent where a CCW does not authorize concealed firearms. Carrying in these areas is not a criminal act however unless you refuse to leave when asked. This seems very similar to the situation in Virginia.

571.107. 1. ... No driver's license or nondriver's license containing a concealed carry endorsement issued pursuant to sections 571.101 to 571.121 or a concealed carry endorsement or permit issued by another state or political subdivision of another state shall authorize any person to carry concealed firearms into:


(10) Any higher education institution or elementary or secondary school facility without the consent of the governing body of the higher education institution or a school official or the district school board. Possession of a firearm in a vehicle on the premises of any higher education institution or elementary or secondary school facility shall not be a criminal offense so long as the firearm is not removed from the vehicle or brandished while the vehicle is on the premises;
5.8.2007 3:37pm
George Lyon (mail):
In Virginia Code Section 18.2-308.1 prohibits any stun gun or taser, knife except a pocket knife of less than three inches, or weapon (as defined in the concealed weapons statute), including a gun, on elementary, middle or high school property (including school buses). Virginia does not ban guns at colleges. However, many colleges and Universities, including Virginia Tech, ban weapons on school property. It is an open question whether those bans at state schools violate Virginia's preemption statute, 15.2-915, but a reading of that statute appears not to include rules at state institutions. There are a variety of exceptions, such as if the weapon is unloaded and encased in a locked truck of the car.
5.8.2007 3:52pm
i see no mention of university here whatsoever. as far as i can tell, it only applies to elementary and secondary schools. note that there is also an exception for a licensed firearms permittee who is "picking up or dropping off a student". they can possess legally on campus. also, there are exceptions for law enforcement, gun shows, and you are allowed to lock it in your car.

it's a gross misdemeanor

RCW 9.41.280
Possessing dangerous weapons on school facilities — Penalty — Exceptions.

(1) It is unlawful for a person to carry onto, or to possess on, public or private elementary or secondary school premises, school-provided transportation, or areas of facilities while being used exclusively by public or private schools:

(a) Any firearm;

(b) Any other dangerous weapon as defined in RCW 9.41.250;

(c) Any device commonly known as "nun-chu-ka sticks", consisting of two or more lengths of wood, metal, plastic, or similar substance connected with wire, rope, or other means;

(d) Any device, commonly known as "throwing stars", which are multi-pointed, metal objects designed to embed upon impact from any aspect; or

(e) Any air gun, including any air pistol or air rifle, designed to propel a BB, pellet, or other projectile by the discharge of compressed air, carbon dioxide, or other gas.

(2) Any such person violating subsection (1) of this section is guilty of a gross misdemeanor. If any person is convicted of a violation of subsection (1)(a) of this section, the person shall have his or her concealed pistol license, if any revoked for a period of three years. Anyone convicted under this subsection is prohibited from applying for a concealed pistol license for a period of three years. The court shall send notice of the revocation to the department of licensing, and the city, town, or county which issued the license.

Any violation of subsection (1) of this section by elementary or secondary school students constitutes grounds for expulsion from the state's public schools in accordance with RCW 28A.600.010. An appropriate school authority shall promptly notify law enforcement and the student's parent or guardian regarding any allegation or indication of such violation.

Upon the arrest of a person at least twelve years of age and not more than twenty-one years of age for violating subsection (1)(a) of this section, the person shall be detained or confined in a juvenile or adult facility for up to seventy-two hours. The person shall not be released within the seventy-two hours until after the person has been examined and evaluated by the *county-designated mental health professional unless the court in its discretion releases the person sooner after a determination regarding probable cause or on probation bond or bail.

Within twenty-four hours of the arrest, the arresting law enforcement agency shall refer the person to the *county-designated mental health professional for examination and evaluation under chapter 71.05 or 71.34 RCW and inform a parent or guardian of the person of the arrest, detention, and examination. The *county-designated mental health professional shall examine and evaluate the person subject to the provisions of chapter 71.05 or 71.34 RCW. The examination shall occur at the facility in which the person is detained or confined. If the person has been released on probation, bond, or bail, the examination shall occur wherever is appropriate.

The *county-designated mental health professional may determine whether to refer the person to the county-designated chemical dependency specialist for examination and evaluation in accordance with chapter 70.96A RCW. The county-designated chemical dependency specialist shall examine the person subject to the provisions of chapter 70.96A RCW. The examination shall occur at the facility in which the person is detained or confined. If the person has been released on probation, bond, or bail, the examination shall occur wherever is appropriate.

Upon completion of any examination by the *county-designated mental health professional or the county-designated chemical dependency specialist, the results of the examination shall be sent to the court, and the court shall consider those results in making any determination about the person.

The *county-designated mental health professional and county-designated chemical dependency specialist shall, to the extent permitted by law, notify a parent or guardian of the person that an examination and evaluation has taken place and the results of the examination. Nothing in this subsection prohibits the delivery of additional, appropriate mental health examinations to the person while the person is detained or confined.

If the *county-designated mental health professional determines it is appropriate, the *county-designated mental health professional may refer the person to the local regional support network for follow-up services or the department of social and health services or other community providers for other services to the family and individual.

(3) Subsection (1) of this section does not apply to:

(a) Any student or employee of a private military academy when on the property of the academy;

(b) Any person engaged in military, law enforcement, or school district security activities;

(c) Any person who is involved in a convention, showing, demonstration, lecture, or firearms safety course authorized by school authorities in which the firearms of collectors or instructors are handled or displayed;

(d) Any person while the person is participating in a firearms or air gun competition approved by the school or school district;

(e) Any person in possession of a pistol who has been issued a license under RCW 9.41.070, or is exempt from the licensing requirement by RCW 9.41.060, while picking up or dropping off a student;

(f) Any nonstudent at least eighteen years of age legally in possession of a firearm or dangerous weapon that is secured within an attended vehicle or concealed from view within a locked unattended vehicle while conducting legitimate business at the school;

(g) Any nonstudent at least eighteen years of age who is in lawful possession of an unloaded firearm, secured in a vehicle while conducting legitimate business at the school; or

(h) Any law enforcement officer of the federal, state, or local government agency.

(4) Subsections (1)(c) and (d) of this section do not apply to any person who possesses nun-chu-ka sticks, throwing stars, or other dangerous weapons to be used in martial arts classes authorized to be conducted on the school premises.

(5) Except as provided in subsection (3)(b), (c), (f), and (h) of this section, firearms are not permitted in a public or private school building.

(6) "GUN-FREE ZONE" signs shall be posted around school facilities giving warning of the prohibition of the possession of firearms on school grounds.

[1999 c 167 § 1; 1996 c 295 § 13; 1995 c 87 § 1; 1994 sp.s. c 7 § 427; 1993 c 347 § 1; 1989 c 219 § 1; 1982 1st ex.s. c 47 § 4.]
5.8.2007 3:53pm
Virginia's Attorney General has issued an Official opinion letter regarding college/university carry.
5.8.2007 4:16pm
Ashley Higgins (mail):
This may not be everything:

Ark. Code Ann. § 5-73-307(a)(14): "No license to carry a concealed handgun issued pursuant to this subchapter authorizes any person to carry a concealed handgun into: . . . Any school, college, community college, or university campus building or event, unless for the purpose of participating in an authorized firearms-related activity. . . ."

Ark. Code Ann. § 5-73-122(a): Can't carry in any publicly owned building or facility.

Ark. Code Ann. § 5-73-119(c)(1) "No person in this state shall possess a handgun upon the property of any private institution of higher education or a publicly supported institution of higher education in this state on or about his of her person, in a vehicle occupied by him or her, or otherwise readily available for use with a purpose to employ the handgun as a weapon against a person."
5.8.2007 5:40pm
Clayton E. Cramer (mail) (www):
JohnS writes:

Of all places, California allows licensed CCW on school grounds: PC 12050 is the section governing CCW, PC 626.9 establishes the Gun-Free School Zones. 626.9(l) establishes the exception.
Primarily because permits are so rarely issued, I would guess. My wife and I occasionally carried when taking night classes at Sonoma State University--especially after high profile mass murders, in case some nutcase decided to be a copycat. (And yes, we had California permits--not easy to get.)

Idaho Code 18-3302D
prohibits possession of a firearm or other deadly weapon on school property, where school is defined as "a private or public elementary or secondary school." There is an exception for a firearm possessed by an adult secured and locked in a vehicle while on school grounds, or while dropping off or picking up kids. There's no requirement that you have a carry permit for either of these exceptions. Remember that you are allowed to have a firearm in your vehicle if it is not on your person here.

University of Idaho and Boise State University both prohibit firearms on campus, but there seems to be no law concerning this. I believe that a serious court challenge might well strike these down based on the lack of statutory authority and Idaho Supreme Court decisions from the 20th century that found that open carry is protected by both Art. I, sec. 11 of the Idaho Constitution and the Second Amendment. I understand that an effort is now under way by a student at University of Idaho to get Attorney General Wasden to issue a favorable opinion on this.
5.8.2007 7:09pm
Bob Leibowitz (mail) (www):

Dave -- The Washington statutes are specific on the areas where CCW is not allowed. Revised Codes of Washington 9.41.280 bans carrying on school property, defined as K-12.

RCW 9.41.300 bans all the other "ordinary" places: courthouses, jails, bars, etc., and also includes the state pre-emption language that specifies what localities can limit, which is not much.

There is nothing that I know of in the RCWs that addresses colleges and universities.

However, the University of Washington has adopted an adminsitrative rule, Washington Administrative Code WAC 478-124-020, which prohibits possession of a firearm on campus. There are stories that the University attempted to prevent Seattle police officers from carrying on campus.

UofW had a campus shooting six weeks ago, domestic violence against an employee who had a restraining order.

I am curious as to where UofW thinks it got the authority to preempt state law.

I look forward to reading your work on this!
5.8.2007 8:21pm
Mississippi: MSCA Section 45-9-101

(13) No license issued pursuant to this section shall authorize any person to carry a concealed pistol or revolver into . . . any elementary or secondary school facility; any junior college, community college, college or university facility unless for the purpose of participating in any authorized firearms-related activity . . . .
As an interesting note I can say that I've been to at least one "authorized firearms-related activity" at a college in MS, which I thought was pretty neat.

The other statute to note is that, because MS does not forbid the carrying of weapons anywhere in your car (or on your person, when you're in your car), there's an "automobile exception" to the above rule but only under these circumstances:

SEC. 97-37-17. Possession of weapons by students; aiding or encouraging.

(6) It shall not be a violation of this section for any person to possess or carry, whether openly or concealed, any gun, rifle, pistol or other firearm of any kind on educational property if:

(a) The person is not a student attending school on any educational property;

(b) The firearm is within a motor vehicle; and

(c) The person does not brandish, exhibit or display the firearm in any careless, angry or threatening manner.
The ugly effect of the two is that a student with a concealed carry permit can't store his weapon in his car; he has to park off campus or leave it at home.
5.8.2007 8:46pm
K Parker (mail):
Whit, you're right that the sections of the RCW don't mention colleges or universities. I'm not sure where this is specified (apologies to Bob L., I'm short of time to look it up just now) but "somewhere" it gives them the right to their own adminstrative rules, which you can find in a search of the WAC. These run the gamut from obviously infringing state preemption (like the UW) and clearly compliant (like Tacoma Community College, which bans carry by employees and students, but is completely silent at to members of the public at large.)
5.9.2007 3:25pm
Ethan B (mail):
Concerning Utah:
76-10-523. Persons exempt from weapons laws.
(2) The provisions of Subsections 76-10-504(1)(a), (1)(b), and Section 76-10-505 do not apply to any person to whom a permit to carry a concealed firearm has been issued:
(a) pursuant to Section 53-5-704; or
(b) by another state or county.
The prohibition against carry at school is in 76-10-505.5 so if you have a permit from any state, you are clear to carry in any school in Utah.
5.10.2007 4:45am
K Parker (mail):
OK, finally had some time to search for the WA specifics.

Tacoma Community College's code of conduct for students is contain in WAC 132V-120-050, see paragraph (19).

This code cites RCW 28B.50.140 and RCW 34.05 for its authority, though I couldn't find anything therein specifically granting university/college trustees to write rules restricting students' firearm rights beyond what state law already says. But surely it must be in there somewhere or someone would have already challenged--we've had shall-issue CCW since 1961, after all!
5.11.2007 3:40am
K Parker (mail):
Oops, I had previously cited the University of Washington as an example of a more restrictive gun policy. Here's the citations: it bans firearms for students in WAC 478-120-020, and attempts to do the same for non-students in WAC 478-124-020.
5.11.2007 3:46am