Gun-Free Zones


U.S. Representative Massie proposes repeal of Federal Gun-Free School Zones Act

Congressman Thomas Massie outside his Congressional office in the Cannon office building in Washington, D.C. (Source: Gage Skidmore)

Congressman Thomas Massie outside his Congressional office in the Cannon office building in Washington, D.C. (Source: Gage Skidmore)

WASHINGTON, D.C. – On Tuesday, Congressman Thomas Massie (R-KY) introduced H.R. 86, the Safe Students Act, which would repeal the Gun-Free School Zones Act of 1990, which was introduced by then senator Joseph Biden.

The Gun-Free School Zones Act (GFSZA) of 1990 made it “unlawful for any individual to knowingly possess a firearm at a place that the individual knows, or has reasonable cause to believe, is a school zone.” In 1995, the Supreme Court held the GFSZA unconstitutional, which prompted Congress to amend the bill in 1996. The Supreme Court has not ruled on the constitutionality of the amended Act.

The amendment was added in the Omnibus Consolidated Appropriations Act of 1997 which was enacted September 30, 1996 at the urging of then US Attorney General, Janet Reno. These changes required that the firearm in question “has moved in or otherwise affects interstate commerce.” Virtually every firearm in circulation fits that description, so many believe this was just a semantics game to circumvent a Supreme Court Ruling

Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) in 2007, originally introduced the bill that Congressman Thomas Massie is now proposing to repeal the Federal Gun Free School Zone Act.

“Gun-free school zones are ineffective. They make people less safe by inviting criminals into target-rich, no-risk environments,” said Massie. “Gun-free zones prevent law-abiding citizens from protecting themselves, and create vulnerable populations that are targeted by criminals.”

There have been 202 school shootings in the United States since the Gun Free School Zones Act was passed in 1990. There hasn’t been one mass shooting in the United States any place, except “gun free zones”.

Representative Massie concluded: “A bigger federal government can’t solve this problem. Weapons bans and gun-free zones are unconstitutional. They do not and cannot prevent criminals or the mentally ill from committing acts of violence. But they often prevent victims of such violence from protecting themselves.”

We don’t send our children to schools without fire extinguishers. Sprinkler systems and fire extinguishers are mandatory for their safety, but only celebrities and politicians get armed guards.

Cosponsors on the bill include: Rep. Steven Palazzo (R-MS), Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX), Rep. Jim Bridenstine (R-OK), and Rep. Jeff Duncan (R-SC).

Congressman Massie is Chairman of the Second Amendment Caucus in the 114th Congress.