1000 ft. School Exclusion Zones vs. The Second Amendment

The above image is from a Connecticut group campaigning against the relocation of a power plant. It gives you a pretty good idea how difficult it is for someone on the ground to figure out if they’re 1000 feet from a school (provided they know where the school is). It’s a pretty important calculation when you’re looking at a felony charge for carrying firearms within a 1000-foot firearms exclusion zone. To wit: “A 23-year-old Sheboygan Falls man was charged Wednesday with a felony for carrying guns near a school,” sheboyganpress.com reports. “Police initially questioned and released [Matt] Hubing since he was legally allowed to own the firearms and was not within a school zone, but he was arrested later that night after police realized the homes he was walking to and from were both within 1,000 feet of a school.” Hubing isn’t exactly a poster boy for those who object to the “killing fields” philosophy of gun-free school zones . . .

Not with that mug shot. And the fact that Hubing was in camo at the time. And was also clocked walking through downtown Sheboygan Falls with firearms. But the principle is worth a closer look (so to speak) . . .

Nik Clark, chairman and president of gun rights advocacy group Wisconsin Carry Inc., said Hubing’s case addresses an issue that has spawned a federal lawsuit by the group.

“In that lawsuit, we contend that those school zones cover such a broad area that they practically foreclose the constitutional right that Wisconsinites have to carry a firearm,” Clark said in an e-mail . . .

The lawsuit was filed in January on behalf of four people — residents of Milwaukee, Racine, Greenfield and Manitowoc — who had contact with police over the school zone gun restriction. Racine and two of its police officers were dropped from the case in March after agreeing to pay $10,000, but the case is still pending against the other three cities and a Milwaukee police officer.

In one case, a handgun seized by police was not returned — despite the gun owner not being charged — because police said the man had the gun at a gas station within a school zone. Two people who conducted open carry demonstrations in or near school zones were warned by police that participants could be arrested, and a Racine man was warned he could be arrested if he had a gun at home and refused to identify himself because his house was within the school zone.

Once again, the forthcoming Supreme Court decision on the Chicago gun ban could well throw a lot of state and local gun control measures (like this one) into doubt—even though the Court didn’t prohibit “reasonable” restrictions.

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