Recently by Raven Clabough: House Fails to Pass BULB Act
Texas Congressman and GOP presidential hopeful Ron Paul continues to champion constitutional rights. His latest endeavor is a bill that would abolish “gun-free zones,” ultimately permitting teachers to carry firearms on school grounds. Predictably, anti-gun groups are calling the legislation “extremist.”
CNS News reports, “H.R. 2613, the Citizens Protection Act of 2011, would repeal the Gun-Free School Zones Act of 1990 and remove all federally created criminal safety zones.”
The Gun-Free School Zones Act was first enacted as section 1702 of the Crime Control Act of 1990. The text of the act reads, “It shall be unlawful for any individual knowingly to possess a firearm that has moved in or that otherwise affects interstate or foreign commerce at a place that the individual knows, or has reasonable cause to believe, is a school zone.”
Paul’s bill will permit individuals, including teachers, to carry firearms onto high-school and middle-school campuses.
The Gun-Free School Zones Act faced adamant opposition from Second Amendment advocacy groups like Gun Owners of America, which has indicated its support for Paul’s legislation.
According to a news release from Gun Owners of America, the Gun-Free School Zones Act protects criminals. The release points to attacks at Columbine, Virginia Tech, and Fort Hood, all of which are “government facilities where the private possession of firearms was prohibited.”
The release continues, “It’s time to say NO to criminal safe zones. And a great place to start is the blatantly unconstitutional Gun-free School Zones Act.”
A number of pro-gun groups argued that the shootings at Columbine High School and Platte Canyon, two high schools in Colorado, necessitated the repeal of the School Zones Act so that campuses would be safer.
Alan Gottlieb, chairman of the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, said that despite the intentions of the School Zones Act, it ultimately created “target-rich, no-risk environments for monsters who have no fear of encountering an armed teacher or administrator, or a legally armed private citizen who might happen to be in the building.”
"This sort of thing didn’t happen before the advent of gun-free school zone laws," Gottlieb said. "You never saw such an outrage in the days when high schools typically had rifle teams, and – particularly in the West – where it was common in the fall to find both teachers and students with hunting rifles or shotguns locked in their cars.”
Gun control groups, on the other hand, believe Paul’s legislation to be dangerous and extreme.