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AZ AG: Guns Are Allowed At Private Schools

From AZ Cen­tral — Arizona’s pri­vate ele­men­tary, mid­dle and high schools can allow guns on cam­pus, accord­ing to a new Ari­zona Attor­ney General’s Office opin­ion.

Sen. Steve Yarbrough, R-Chan­dler, request­ed the legal opin­ion sev­er­al months ago. He got his answer late Fri­day. Accord­ing to Attor­ney Gen­er­al Mark Brnovich, state and fed­er­al law do not pre­vent an indi­vid­ual with an Ari­zona con­cealed-car­ry weapons per­mit from car­ry­ing a con­cealed gun on pri­vate school grounds in Ari­zona. They also do not pre­vent schools from hav­ing guns secured on cam­pus for use by trained employ­ees who are not police offi­cers as part of a school-approved pro­gram.

I work with a lot of pri­vate schools and sev­er­al of them had inquired as to what they could to do to make their cam­pus­es safer,” Yarbrough told The Ari­zona Repub­lic. “They inquired about what kind of per­son­nel they could have on cam­pus, and what kind of cir­cum­stances they could store firearms on cam­pus.”

Yarbrough did not say which schools had asked, or whether any would now allow guns on cam­pus.

Accord­ing to Brnovich’s writ­ten legal opin­ion, the Fed­er­al Gun Free School Zones Act (GFSZA) makes it a crime to know­ing­ly pos­sess a gun on the grounds of a pub­lic, parochial or pri­vate school but does not apply if the indi­vid­ual is licensed by the state. A state law in 2010 allowed indi­vid­u­als in Ari­zona to car­ry con­cealed weapons with­out need­ing a per­mit. But the state still offers the per­mits. Fed­er­al and state law, accord­ing to Brnovich, also pro­vide an excep­tion if the indi­vid­ual is car­ry­ing the gun as part of a school-approved pro­gram.

If an Ari­zona pri­vate school were to ini­ti­ate a pro­gram enrolling trained firearm han­dling per­sons in a pro­gram through which these per­sons would be allowed to car­ry con­cealed in the school zone, the GFSZA’s pro­hi­bi­tion would not apply to those enrolled indi­vid­u­als,” Brnovich wrote. “The analy­sis is much the same under Ari­zona law.”

Brnovich also said noth­ing in fed­er­al or state law pro­hibits schools from secure­ly stor­ing guns on pri­vate school cam­pus­es.

An Ari­zona pri­vate school could ini­ti­ate a pro­gram in which they secure­ly store firearms on cam­pus and pro­vide access to trained firearm han­dling employ­ees,” he wrote.

The issue of guns in schools has been a hot top­ic for leg­is­la­tures nation­wide in recent years.

 This year Gov. Doug Ducey signed House Bill 2338, which for­bids any school gov­ern­ing board — K-12 through uni­ver­si­ty — from ban­ning some­one from legal­ly pos­sess­ing a dead­ly weapon on a pub­lic right of way adja­cent to cam­pus. State law­mak­ers dur­ing debate of the bill said it was a response to con­cerns about lim­it­ing the gun rights of dri­vers on Cen­tral Avenue in Phoenix, who trav­el adja­cent to the Ari­zona State Uni­ver­si­ty down­town cam­pus.

Ari­zona law­mak­ers in 2013 unsuc­cess­ful­ly pro­posed leg­is­la­tion that would have allowed teach­ers and staff in K-12 dis­trict and char­ter schools to car­ry guns on cam­pus.

Ten­nessee this year passed a law allow­ing pri­vate K-12 schools and pri­vate uni­ver­si­ties to imple­ment their own hand­gun poli­cies.

Yarbrough said Brnovich’s opin­ion now makes it clear that Ari­zona doesn’t need a sim­i­lar law change to give schools the same author­i­ty.

Sheriff John Hanlin (R) speaks at a news conference in Roseburg, Oregon October 2, 2015. REUTERS/Steve Dipaola
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ER1C ☠

ER1C ☠

Dedicated Second Amendment Advocate, At-Home Gunsmith, Designer, Blogger, Video Guy, Author, Business Owner & ReloadOne Member.

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