Correction to run in tomorrow's paper

Discussion in 'Firearm Related' started by Malum Prohibitum, Sep 10, 2007.

  1. Malum Prohibitum

    Malum Prohibitum Moderator Staff Member

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    From: Maj
    Sent: Wednesday, September 5, 2007 10:55 PM
    To: Burk, Jennifer - Macon
    Cc: jp
    Subject: No federal law bans gun possession on college campuses

    Jennifer,

    At http://www.macon.com/198/story/128530.html you wrote that "Both federal and state law prohibit possession of weapons on college campuses."


    This is in error - no federal law makes gun possession on college campuses unlawful, and most states do not do so either. I have personally open carried a handgun on the GMU main and Law School campuses for hours at a time without any problem.


    Perhaps Georgia makes some gun possession on college campuses unlawful, but certainly not all possession.

    Could you consider publishing a correction with the correct info?

    Thanks,


    ##########################

    Contact anytime on gun stories:

    Mike Stollenwerk/John Pierce

    www.OpenCarry.org
     
  2. Malum Prohibitum

    Malum Prohibitum Moderator Staff Member

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    In a message dated 9/6/2007 5:49:54 P.M. Eastern Daylight Time, jburk writes:

    Thanks for your e-mail. I wanted to let you know that I am in the process of verifying information and am taking your e-mail seriously. If there is indeed an error, I will correct it. I can tell you Georgia does ban any type of weapon possession on campus (OCGA 16-11-127.1). I am in the process of contacting the district attorney to inquire about federal law.

    Thanks again,
    Jennifer

    Jennifer Burk
    Reporter
    The Telegraph
    Macon, Ga.
     

  3. Malum Prohibitum

    Malum Prohibitum Moderator Staff Member

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    From: Maj
    Sent: Thursday, September 6, 2007 11:00 PM
    To: Burk, Jennifer - Macon
    Cc: jp
    Subject: Re: No federal law bans gun possession on college campuses

    OK,

    The only federal law that people might be confused by is the federal Gun Free School Zone Act at 18 USC 922(q), which, inter alia, (1) only applies to K-12 schools, (2) has a 100% gun carry permit exception, all the way to the blackboard, and (3) was struck down in Lopez v. United States by the Supreme Court as exceeding the power of the Congress. Though Congress reenacted the Act with minor changes, the reality is that the Act is not used actively by federal prosecutors except as a plea bargaining charge.



    The District Attny. may not know much about federal law - contact the US Attorney perhaps?

    key point to put in the correction or subsequent article is that GA is in the minority of states banning gun carry on college campuses as a matter of state criminal law.



    Mike S.
     
  4. Malum Prohibitum

    Malum Prohibitum Moderator Staff Member

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    In a message dated 9/7/2007 5:59:51 P.M. Eastern Daylight Time, jburk writes:

    I wanted to let you know that I spoke with a US Attorney who, to summarize, said that because the case hasn't come up in court, the federal statute regarding guns in school zones is questionable. He said that he didn't think a correction was necessary to the article. Based on all this information, I have spoken with my editor and he has decided that we won't run a correction. However, I will assure you in the future I won't be attempting to dabble in federal law and weapons on campus.

    Thank you for your inquiry,
    Jennifer

    Jennifer Burk
    Reporter
    The Telegraph
    Macon, Ga.
     
  5. Malum Prohibitum

    Malum Prohibitum Moderator Staff Member

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    From: Maj
    Sent: Saturday, September 08, 2007 9:19 AM
    To: jburk
    Cc: jp; Ed Stone
    Subject: Correction should issue as fact profferred in article is unambiguously in error

    Jennifer,

    Whether a US Attorney thinks that a "correction is necessary" is not relevant - the question is, **given that the Federal Gun Free School Zone Gun Act, even if it is Constitutional, does not apply at all to college campuses,** is it the policy of your newspaper to publish corrections of clearly incorrect facts published in your newspaper?

    You can verify this at http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode - type in 18 USC 922 into the web page - then look for para (q). 18 USC 922(q) is the Federal Gun Free School Zone Gun Act - the act clearly states that the gun possession restrictions are limited to "school zones," a term defined at 18 USV 921(a) (look up as explained above) as follows: "(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.

    (26) The term “school†means a school which provides elementary or secondary education, as determined under State law." (emphasis added).

    The reason that your factual error is such a big deal is that Georgia is such an outlier in terms of public policy by banning gun carry on college campuses generally - in most states (e.g., Virginia, Pennsylvania, etc.), it is not a crime for the public or students to carry guns on campus, and the debate now in these states is whether state law should be clarified to clearly preempt colleges from enforcing campus "rules" against student carry thru administrative discipline like Utah has already done. The debate in Georgia should now be whether to at least drop the state criminal ban on other wise lawful gun carry on college campuses - Georgia law on gun carry is already stricter than most states b/c it requires a license even to "open carry" handguns - most states do not require a license to open carry.

    So, I think from a professional journalistic perspective, a simple correction should be issued stating something like "Federal law does not generally prohibit gun possession on college campuses."

    Then, maybe do a follow up article on student civil rights activists who argue that Georgia should further preempt colleges from enforcing "rules" against student carry on campus.

    Mike Stollenwerk
    www.OpenCarry.org

    cc: Ed Stone, Esquire (GeorgiaCarry.org)
     
  6. Malum Prohibitum

    Malum Prohibitum Moderator Staff Member

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    From: Ed Stone
    Sent: Monday, September 10, 2007 6:39 AM
    To: Maj; Burk, Jennifer - Macon
    Cc: jp
    Subject: RE: Correction should issue as fact profferred in article is unambiguously in error

    Mike,

    Thank you for copying me on the email. To sum up the legal situation, the federal law applies to K-12 schools only, not colleges, and, as you know, even in the context of K-12 it does not apply to anybody possessing a Georgia firearms license, because the federal law fully exempts holders of state licenses to carry firearms. In Georgia, however, there is a state law making it a felony for adult students with firearms licenses to carry a firearm on college campuses or even to have one in an automobile on college property. O.C.G.A. 16-11-127.1. There are a lot of exceptions to this unusual law, but the exceptions do not apply to students (even middle-aged doctoral candidates). This is unfortunate, as many states do not criminalize carry on college campuses by adults, much less make it a felony. www.GeorgiaCarry.org is working hard at bringing Georgia into line with the gun control laws of most other states, so that 21 year old adults will be able to protect themselves while on campus or traveling to and from campus. These laws do not prevent violent crimes, but they are ruining the lives of peaceable young adults by making them convicted felons, unable to possess firearms or vote for the rest of their lives. These laws also make Georgia school campuses into a safe zone for violent criminals, who know they have a large, disarmed crowd to victimize.

    On a related note, last week, a Cobb County High School student, 17 years of age (which is an adult in Georgia criminal law), was arrested on felony charges for having a Swiss Army pocketknife with a 2.5 inch blade. He is losing his college scholarship and will probably be branded as a convicted felon for life. He was one of only two students arrested in Cobb County last week (the second one had a small pocketknife in the car from a camping trip). Georgia law considers any knife over two inches in length to be a “weapon†if it is on school grounds, and possession is a felony. This law is an injustice.

    Ms. Burk, to the extent you are interested in researching Georgia’s firearms laws, I direct your attention to www.georgiapacking.org - a web site that has all Georgia firearms statutes and case law (from 1842 to 2007) available under its “Gun Laws†tab. You may find it useful in the future. If I can be of help, please do not hesitate to contact me.

    Edward A. Stone
     
  7. Malum Prohibitum

    Malum Prohibitum Moderator Staff Member

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    After further discussion with my editor, we are running a correction in tomorrow's paper.
    Thank you for your concern,
    Jennifer

    Jennifer Burk
    Reporter
    The Telegraph
    Macon, Ga.
     
  8. Malum Prohibitum

    Malum Prohibitum Moderator Staff Member

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    Thanks for considering and following thru on this Jennifer - Ed and I and others are always available to you for background, red meat quotes, whatever you need for gun related stories.

    Mike Stollenwerk
     
  9. budder

    budder Moderator Staff Member

    :woohoo: Now, hopefully we can get them to do a follow-up piece, even if we are labeled as a group with a dangerous agenda.
     
  10. ThetaReactor

    ThetaReactor Active Member

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    Yes. A dangerous Assault Agenda.
     
  11. Thorsen

    Thorsen New Member

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  12. AV8R

    AV8R Banned

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    I gotta admit, I was getting really dismayed when she was not going to print a correction and vowed to never write about gun law. I just don't appreciate the whole give up and run away mentality.
     
  13. merlock

    merlock Active Member

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    Great job, MP! :applause:

    Isn't that why they're branded as the 'Drive-by media'? :evil:
     
  14. jeepsterwannabe

    jeepsterwannabe New Member

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    I need someone to explain this before i believe its legal for a GFL holder to carry on school grounds (K - 12 at least)
     
  15. budder

    budder Moderator Staff Member

    You can't. There's a state law that places a restriction on all schools. You can drop someone off and pick them up, provided you're not a student at that school.
     
  16. Malum Prohibitum

    Malum Prohibitum Moderator Staff Member

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    Nope.
     
  17. GAGunOwner

    GAGunOwner Active Member

    You are exempt from the federal law but the state law still applies.
     
  18. budder

    budder Moderator Staff Member

    Nope.[/quote:1jvho2cu]
    :(