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Guns on school grounds
By Jeff Terrill
Fort Wayne Reader
Making it a felony to bring a gun on school property should keep kids safe, right?
In Indiana, a person who possesses a firearm in or on school property or on a school bus commits a Class D felony. A Class D felony is punishable up to three years in prison. The law doesnít apply to law enforcement officers. The statute also exempts any person ďwho may legally possess a firearm and possesses the firearm in a motor vehicle that is being operated by the person to transport another person to or from a school or school function.Ē
Meet Bob. Bob is a gun owner and the proud father of three sons. Bob has a lifetime permit to carry a firearm. His youngest son, C.J., will be a senior in high school. Bob and C.J. arenít real people. C.J. is one of the captains on the high school football team.
Yesterday morning, Bob followed his usual routine Ė he left home with his unloaded handgun and placed it in the glove box of his car. Bob brought the gun into the small business that he owns just like he did every morning. Bobís business has been burglarized and vandalized in the past, so Bob feels like he needs his gun at work to protect himself and his employees.
Upon leaving work, Bob placed his unloaded gun back into his carís glove box and drove to the high school to watch football practice. Bob parked near the football field and sat on the hood of his car to watch practice. About an hour later, Bob returned to his car and accidentally backed into a fence. Bob got out of his car and noticed slight damage to both his vehicle and to the schoolís fence.
From across the parking lot, Bob could see a police vehicle parked outside of the schoolís administrative office. He walked over to see if he could report the incident to either the school or to the police officer. Bob found the police officer coming out of the school and explained that he had just backed into a school fence. The officer drove Bob back over to the site of the accident.
Bob told the officer that he had a gun in his carís glove box. Bob also produced his firearm permit. The officer took some photos of the fence and the car. Bob provided the officer proof of his insurance. The officer advised that he would have the school maintenance department look at the fence and that the school might be in contact with either Bob or Bobís insurance company.
Bob told the officer he understood and thanked him for his help. The officer asked Bob who he was dropping off or picking up at the school. Bob explained that he was there to watch his son practice but that his son had his own car and that he wasnít giving anyone a ride.
The officer took several photos of Bobís gun. Bob reminded the officer that he had a permit to carry a firearm. The officer told Bob that because he was neither picking up nor dropping off another person at school that he had broken the law.
In a few days, the Prosecutor in Bobís county will charge Bob with possession of a firearm on school property, a Class D felony.
Jeff Terrill is a partner/shareholder with the law firm of Arnold Terrill Anzini, P.C. Mr. Terrill represents clients accused of crimes throughout northeast Indiana. You can contact Mr. Terrill with any questions or comments at his office at 260.420.7777 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Learn more about his firm at www.fortwaynedefense.com. This article expressed opinions and observations of the author, is not intended as legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship between the author and the reader. Please consult a qualified attorney with any legal questions or issues you might have. Thank you.