Carrying through 1000 ft school zone

Discussion in 'Places Off-Limits' started by jmorin, Jun 24, 2005.

  1. jmorin

    jmorin New Member

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    Hello again. I have another question where I think I know the answer, but I'd like some advice from those who know more.

    I live near (but not within 1000 ft) of an elementary and middle school. Am I breaking the law if I carry concealed while passing through the 1000 ft zone on foot (but not stepping on school property) when I'm, for example, walking my dog?

    I'm not in transit in a vehicle, I'm not conducting lawful business within the 1000 ft zone, I'm not visiting a friend in the zone, etc., etc.

    Opinions?

    Thanks.
    Jason
     
  2. ICP_Juggalo

    ICP_Juggalo Professional Troll

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    In my NON Legal opinion, I would say you would be fine. Walking your dog, I would assume, be considered conducting lawful business unless walking your dog is illegal where you live. Just make sure you don't step on to the actual property. Where the actual property begins is usually recognized where the "weapon-free and drug free zone" signs are posted. Once you go past those signs, then you would be considered on school property. Stay on the sidewalk. Remember, the state owns the land the roads are built on and the land out to 10 feet from the actual road, which would include the sidewalk. So as long as your on the sidewalk, you're on state property and not school property.
     

  3. john

    john New Member

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    If your dog is a student at the school, you could enter onto school property to pick up or drop off the student as long as you have a carry permit.
     
  4. Malum Prohibitum

    Malum Prohibitum Moderator Staff Member

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    I am not your lawyer. You are within the "safety zone" of (a)(1). You have a weapon - (a) (2). You are thus breaking the law (b) unless there is an applicable exception (c). I do not have enough information to determine if you do, in fact, fall into one of the exceptions listed in (c). Are you a medical examiner or coroner, for instance?

    Assuming none of (c) applies, we must next examine (d), which lists the situations in which this law does not apply. You already said you home is not actually within the zone, and thus you do not reside within the zone. You also ruled out many other things listed in (d).
     
  5. gunsmoker

    gunsmoker Lawyer and Gun Activist

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    Good question. What about when I ride my bicycle for exercise through a school zone (but not actually on campus)? And what exactly is the difference between "on school property" and just "in a school zone"? For a small middle or high school with a closed campus, it's easy to tell. But what about a big university, the size of a small city, with dozens of public roads going through it? And what if you go to a medical clinic that has an affiliation with a university while armed? Are you facing a misdemeanor charge of carrying in a public building, or a felony charge of carrying in a school zone?

    Remember silly and poorly-worded laws like this the next time you tell some anti-gunner that before we pass any new gun laws, we need to vigorously enforce ALL the existing ones, with mandatory prison terms for gun criminals. If you take your carry gun through a school zone (and nearly every public road of any significance passes through several such school zones in each county), you could be one of those "GUN FELONS" the NRA wants to crucify.
     
  6. Gunstar1

    Gunstar1 Administrator

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    According to the law, the way you can tell is to be arrested and charged with the crime. Then at the trial "...a map produced or reproduced by any municipal or county agency or department for the purpose of depicting the location and boundaries of the area on or within 1,000 feet of the real property... "

    By the way, 1000 foot zone is in effect 24hrs a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.
     
  7. john

    john New Member

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    passing through a school zone in the normal course of business is perfectly legal from what I have read.
     
  8. Malum Prohibitum

    Malum Prohibitum Moderator Staff Member

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    Which part are you reading? I do not think such a broad exception exists, but I have been wrong before.
     
  9. john

    john New Member

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    I will borrow a code book from one of the U C guys and reread the school zone part again and get back to you.
     
  10. Gunstar1

    Gunstar1 Administrator

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    The entire GA code is online.
    16-11-127.1 School Zone Law (d)(1) specifically

    John is correct.

    Malum, when was the last time you visited the Georgia page on Packing.org? I am just curious because I have added a number of Admin notes and that was one of them. :mrgreen:

    If I may quote myself: :wink:
     
  11. Gunstar1

    Gunstar1 Administrator

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    afterthought

    So if you or a friend lives near a school but outside 1000ft, traveling through the zone (without a license) is illegal.

    Commit a felony by driving to a friends house.
     
  12. Malum Prohibitum

    Malum Prohibitum Moderator Staff Member

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    Matt, please do not get insulted, but, no, I have not read your recent commentary on the code section on the Georgia page of packing.org. I have, however, read the code section itself (as evidenced by my post of July 29, 2005 on this thread).

    Keep in mind that the original poster posited that he had no legal business to transact, does not live within the zone, and is not visiting someone who resides in the zone. He merely inquired as to the legality of walking his dog in the zone while perhaps openly carrying an H&K Mark 23 with a silencer affixed while dressed in camoflauge and wearing face paint at 4:00 a.m.

    Well, something like that (I know, I know, he said concealed, but let us keep in mind that open carry is legal in Georgia, too).


    Is that transacting lawful business? Is loitering and wandering around a public school with a gun transacting lawful business?

    I take it your answer is yes. That would sort of render the code section meaningless, something a court is very hesitant to do.

    I think it would be different if he was visiting the local stop and rob inside the school zone to buy a cup of coffee while walking his dog (while wearing camo and face paint &c.), but I do not see exactly what would be prohibited if "is in the ordinary course transacting lawful business" were interpreted to mean, well, not transacting "business" at all, in the ordinary course or otherwise.

    Out of an abundance of caution, I would advise this gentleman not to do it. Walk the other way to let his dog poo poo.



    Here is what he asked:


    "I'm not in transit in a vehicle, I'm not conducting lawful business within the 1000 ft zone, I'm not visiting a friend in the zone, etc., etc."

    The emphasis is, of course, mine. In any event, I think the question, rephrased, asked you whether it was legal to do what the law says not to do while ruling out all of the exceptions in subsection (d). That is the question. The answer is a simple "no."
     
  13. Gunstar1

    Gunstar1 Administrator

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    Oops, thats what I get for not rereading everyones posts... (I thought your were saying business was not allowed, not what is actually considered business) let me try again.
    Conducting lawful business is allowed, however I disagree with ICP as to what is lawful business.
    Walking a dog, jogging, or riding a bicycle is not lawful business unto itself unless you are a professional dog walker, runner, or bicyclist.

    Traveling to and from a place where you conducted business is allowed only if you traveled straight there and back. So if you walk with your dog straight to the store, bought something, came right back home, and during that time you walked past a school zone, you should be OK.

    If you are simply walking your dog around the block and at the end of the block their is a school, that is illegal.
    If you stopped at a friends house (that does not live inside a school zone)on the way home, then any school zone you pass through (without a license) on your way there or back, you are passing through illegaly.



    As for Packing.org...
    No problem, you should check it out sometime. I have added a number of admin notes for FAQ's and FRS's (Frequently Wrong Statements) on the page.
    Oh, and I have also been adding the Counties that are not following the law for processing applications as I get reports and summerizing the problems in the lovely color of red. They are at the bottom of the page.
     
  14. ICP_Juggalo

    ICP_Juggalo Professional Troll

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    And that is exactly the problem that he and all of us are going to run into out there in the world. Georgia criminal code is intentionally written vaguely to allow an officer to arrest via his or her own interpretation of the law and to let the judge sort it out afterwards.

    Gunstar's and I disagreement over what lawful business is, is a perfect example of a different interpretation of the law your garunteed to get from one LEO to the other.

    I consider walking a dog as "lawful business" meaning that is there is no law aganist such an activity, then it must be lawful.

    Whereas I believe gunstar to be coming from is that unless you have actual business being within a school zone lawfully armed, i.e visting someone, getting to the store, passing through, ect. Where just being in the zone for no particular reason would be unlawful.

    Ok, I have busted a spring now and now going to participate in a thoughtless activity.

    EDIT: what we need is a legal definition of "lawful business" to put this controversy to rest. :p
     
  15. Malum Prohibitum

    Malum Prohibitum Moderator Staff Member

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    I would go further. I am not sure it would be legal to be "just passing through" if you were on foot (i.e., not riding in a motor vehicle). I do not think that fits an exception. Any thoughts?

    I will go further. Is it legal to have it in your vehicle, just passing through? Do not post a response to this off the cuff. Read the statute very carefully and respond with why it is legal, if in fact you think it is.

    The statute is very simple in structure. All things are prohibited unless you are an exempt person with an exempt circumstance, under subsection c, or you fall into one of the exceptions in subsection d. The car sections all relate to picking up or dropping off a student or attending a school function (or being a teacher). Take a gander and let me know what you think.

    This Code section shall not prohibit any person who resides or works in a business or is in the ordinary course transacting lawful business or any person who is a visitor of such resident located within a school safety zone from . . .

    The "in the ordinary course transacting lawful business" has to be within the school zone, not passing through. Don't believe me? Look at the structure of the sentence and take another example. One who "works in a business" is exempt, too. Obviously, one must "work in a business . . . within a school safety zone." Otherwise, the result would be a little ridiculous. Any person who is employed (any job anywhere) could carry in a school safety zone, while the temporarily unemployed could not. All of the exceptions relate to activities actually "within a school safety zone," and not activities outside the school safety zone where you must pass through the zone to conduct your activity.

    Therefore, even if you are going to buy a cup of coffee at the local Stop n' Rob, you had best make sure it is within the zone or you should pick out another location and avoid the school "safety" :roll: zone altogether.

    By the way, this even would apply in the summer when school is out.

    Anybody disagree? If so, get your ducks in a row before you post.

    If "in the ordinary course transacting lawful business" would include walking your dog or any other activity that is not otherwise illegal, as has been suggested, then we really don't have any school safety zone law to worry about, since you would not be doing anything illegal until you broke another law. I do not think that is what this statute says.
     
  16. Gunstar1

    Gunstar1 Administrator

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    I can see a wide variety of interpretations by just the dictionary definitions of the bold words.
    ordinary - common, usual

    course:
    -The route or path taken by something
    -A mode of action or behavior
    -Movement in time; duration

    Transact:
    -to do
    -carry on
    -conduct

    business:
    -Commercial dealings; patronage
    -Something involving one personally
    -A commercial enterprise or establishment

    So, put a few of these together...
    1 ...is in the usual path taken to do legal commercial dealings... (walking/driving straight through a zone to the stop-n-rob outside the zone is ok)
    2 ...is in the common act of carrying on legal patronage (stop-n-rob has to be within the zone)
    3 ...is in the common act of carrying on a legal commercial enterprise (your work brings you into the zone/ cable repair, repo man, landscapers)
    4 ...is in the usual act not prohibited by law involving one personally (walking your dog through the zone is ok)

    Now evaluate those 4 above against the context the statement was made.
    A person in the zone is exempt if they:
    A. live in the zone
    B. Visit someone who lives in the zone
    C. work in the zone
    D. 1, 2, 3, or 4?

    I believe 3 is covered by C.
    I believe 4 does not make sense in context. "Works in a business" is not involving something personal, it is work. So the opposite should be allowing a person to carry when they plan to buy, sell, or trade with the person who "works in a business" inside the zone.
    Leaving 1 and 2.
    So for me to conduct business with the local stop-n-rob, I need to be at that place. The normal course of transaction would be for me to drive to the store, pump the gas, pay for it, and go home. To go somewhere else after that would be an alternate course. So in the zone or not, as long as that is the only place you are going you are ok.
    OR
    It is only during the act of buying something from a business in the zone that you are allowed to carry.

    I am leaning slightly more towards 2, but I think it is just to vague to decide without case law.
     
  17. asbrand

    asbrand Active Member

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    I know this is an older post, but I'm stuck at work and bored, and thought I'd bring this up:

    (emphasis mine)

    Now, to ME, this says that anyone who is legally transporting a weapon in a vehicle is exempt.

    It *could* be construed to say that anyone with a Concealed Carry License is the one who is exempt.

    What say ye?

    *EDIT* - naturally, a guy walking a dog isn't "in a vehicle". I'm curious about just driving through the zone on the way to / from work, for example.
     
  18. Malum Prohibitum

    Malum Prohibitum Moderator Staff Member

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    I think you are correct. In a vehicle, if you are legally in possession and have any weapon legally in your vehicle, and you are not a student, then you may possess it in transit through the school zone as you are an exempt person in an exempt circumstance under (c). i do not think your second interpretation is correct, though, because the sentence is limited to specific circumstances - "while" doing this, that, or the other thing.

    I think this should just read :
    (c)(7) A person who is licensed in accordance with Code Section 16-11-129.

    Then just delete the remainder until you get to "or any weapon legally . . ." and then delete "other than a student."

    Why shouldn't a 50 year old graduate student be able to carry the same as a nonstudent at his university?

    Isn't this pretty mucvh the structure of last year's proposal.
     
  19. Malum Prohibitum

    Malum Prohibitum Moderator Staff Member

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    Asbrand had his ducks in a row!
     
  20. ICP_Juggalo

    ICP_Juggalo Professional Troll

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    I shot all my ducks... What can I say I was hungry! :oops: