Back in 1990, Congress passed the Gun-Free School Zone Act (GFSZA), which banned gun possession within 1,000 feet of a school. Sen. Joe Biden helped write this bill. After several successful court challenges, Congress rewrote the law in 1996. Later, a few realized that banning law-bidding citizens from having guns couldn’t stop bad people from doing bad things, and introduced the Safe Students Act in 2007; it didn’t become law.
However, Rep. Thomas Massie of Kentucky just reintroduced the Safe Students Act as H.R. 3200. If passed, this bill would repeal the GFSZA, and eliminate the federal ban on guns in school zones. This would allow state and local governments, along with school boards, to set firearm policies.
“Gun-free zones are ineffective and make our schools less safe. 98 percent of mass public shootings since 1950 have occurred in places where citizens are banned from having guns,” Rep. Massie said in a press release. “Banks, churches, sports stadiums, and many of my colleagues in Congress are protected with firearms. Yet children inside the classroom are too frequently left vulnerable.”
So far, this bill has seven cosponsors, all republicans and mostly from the South. However, President Donald Trump did say during his campaign that he would support eliminating gun free zones, especially in school and on military bases.
Safe Students Act Would Allow More Local Control
Shotgun Joe had a lot to do with the Gun-Free School Zone Act, but that doesn’t automatically means it is a bad law. The idea that people with hate in their hearts would follow this law is what makes it a bad law. Gun-free zones have stopped absolutely zero shootings. In fact, every single school shooting since 1990 happened in a gun-free zone.
That’s why it is important that local governments have more control. This bill might not be that important in many ways, as the GFSZA contains loopholes that allow some to have guns on campus. However, that law chipped away from the rights provided by the Second Amendment. Repealing it would chip away from the recent pushes to impose even more ineffective gun laws that criminals will simply ignore. It would also stop making criminals of people who simple forget that they have an unloaded gun in the car when they pick up their kids or stop by for a program.
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