I was recently reported in the news that California is once again considering legislation that would completely ban concealed carry guns at colleges and schools in the state. Senate Bill 707, was introduced by Senator Lois Wolk (D-Davis). The idea for the bill came from university and college police, who say school officials should have more control over campus safety. Democrats were in support and Republicans opposed it, but lawmakers approved the measure in early September. The Bill is now headed to Gov. Jerry Brown’s desk. If he signs it, it will become law.
California’s “Gun-Free School Zone Act” (California Penal Code 626.9)
California already has some of the strictest gun laws in the country that cover gang-related activities, weapons one is not allowed to own (ie. assault rifles), and who may or may not purchase a gun. What you may not realize, however, is that current California law makes it illegal to possess a firearm within 1,000 feet of a school or college campus without permission from administrators. See CA Penal Code 626.9 (enacted in 1995). The law does include exemptions for retired law enforcement officers and those with concealed carry permits.
Penalties for violation include a two to five year imprisonment. Discharging a firearm in a school zone raises that sentence to five to seven years.
Senate Bill 707 would basically expand this law and prohibit those who do have a conceal and carry permit from bringing a gun within 1000 feet from schools and universities.
California Concealed Firearm Permits (California Penal Code 26150 & 26155)
It is normally a crime to carry a loaded or unloaded gun in public in California unless you have a permit. You may be able to apply for a permit with the state if:
- You are determined to have good moral character (ie. no prior convictions);
- Good cause exists because you can demonstrate you and your family are in immediate danger;
- You meet legal residency requirements;
- You have completed an acceptable gun safety course.
A concealed gun must still be a legal gun. California bans the possession of assault weapons and rifles. See California Penal Code 30600. Additionally, a permit for conceal and carry may not necessarily carry over to other states if you are traveling. Some states have reciprocity with others. California in particular, does not recognize out-of-state conceal and carry permits. Continue reading