(courtesy wjhg.com)

Your Lockdown of the Day™ today is a twofer, because of the brevity of both incidents. First, Van R. Butler Elementary School in Walton County, Florida was locked down for about 15 minutes today after police were called about gunfire. When officers arrived, they found that a man had shot a rattlesnake that was crawling through a homeowner’s front yard near the school. Police had no comment other than, “…as you can see behind you there, it was a pretty large rattlesnake.” . . .

The second LOTD comes from Winchester, NH, where an elementary school went into lockdown for about 10 minutes after a person with a concealed weapon (not very well concealed, apparently) was reported in front of the school. Police responded and found that it was a man with a permit to carry who was waiting on the sidewalk to accompany his children home from school. The man was reportedly “remorsefully unaware” that the federal Gun-Free Schools Zone Act prohibited possession of a loaded gun, even a properly licensed one, within 1,000 feet of a school. The officer waited with the man until he left with his children, and he was not cited, but was told never to do it again.

Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy announced on Monday that police have recovered more than 2,000 illegal guns in Chicago so far this year. (What defines an “illegal gun” is not specified.) According to a short story in the ChiTrib, Mayor Rahm Emanuel often makes the case that relatively lax Illinois gun laws are much of the problem, and highlights Emanuel’s unsuccessful attempts to get state lawmakers to “strengthen” those laws. Meanwhile, a total of 23 people were shot between 6 p.m. Friday and midnight Sunday in Chicago, four of them fatally. The final sentence of the article is the kicker: “[Chicago] has enacted tougher city gun laws to try to combat crime, though in the past those ordinances have been rarely enforced, and it’s unclear how much good they do.” Quite.

Another reminder to check your bags, people. Three people have been found to have guns in their possession within the past week at Detroit Metropolitan airport, including one employee headed in to work. It’s very easy to get busy and overlook things when you’re packing for a trip, but “Is there a gun in my bag?” should be right up there at the top of the list with “Did I turn off the stove?” and “Did I lock the front door?” Actually, the gun should probably be higher than at least one of those, because an unlocked front door won’t send you to prison.

Jerry Miculek met a guy recently that had footage of Jerry’s very first official speed-shooting demo, back in 1990. You want to know how Jerry is so good today? Because he was this good 24 years ago. While the shooting is good, the quality of the tape is pretty bad. But then, it was probably shot on a video camera that was about the same size as the VCR used to play the tape back. It’s worth it, though, to watch a legend in the making.

That revolver sounds like a machine gun.

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59 Responses to Daily Digest: Snake Gun Edition

  1. I have that tape of Jerry. Back when he officially beat Ed McGivern in speed shooting a revolver.
    Though I wonder how fast Ed really was. His timers were half mechanical devices.

    • Interesting, because I live in Nevada and I’ve seen a few people open carrying when dropping off or picking up their kids. I know the state law allows it. I don’t think the federal one trumps it.

    • Even California exempts ccwers from the 1000 foot rule. and if they didn’t you couldn’t carry in any city or town without violating the law. I wonder if it just so happens the police in this NH burg were just plain wrong.

      • They were wrong, but since it’s in the southern part of the state that’s to be expected. That part of NH has been infested with people trying to escape the hell that is Massachusetts, then voting for the same crap up here, including importing Mass police policies. Fortunately we have a strong firearms pre=emption law at the state level and the police chiefs who try to act like they are still in Mass gat slapped down pretty regularly (doesn’t stop them from trying though).

    • There is actually some disagreement on that subject in NH. While NH does not have any state prohibitions, the issue is the language in the Gun Free School Zones act. Specifically, you have an exemption if your permit is issued by a sworn law enforcement officer following some procedure in which a background check is done. The law in NH permits town selectmen to issue carry permits to handle places that don’t have a full time LEO. Because not all permits have to be issued by a LEO, some (including pro-gun people) suggest that this ambiguity might be a problem should a person be arrested. Even if your permit was issued by a police officer, the fact that a mechanism exists that allows non-LEOs to issue might invalidate the exemption for the entire state permitting system.

      This is why at least one pro-gun organization in the state advises its members not to be the test case.

      • YGBSM! That is so screwed up it is (almost) funny. I guess the logic is sound, tho, as a gun blessed by an LEO directly could not kill the little children, but otherwise who knows what might happen? And you say that idiocy is actually in the Federal law? No wonder our country is so screwed up.

  2. It is not true that the federal “gun free” school zone applies to holders of privilege cards. If a person is licensed to carry by their state they may carry at a school. Utah allows it for example.

    • I typed it the way the article had it, because it didn’t seem right to me, but I wasn’t sure. Based on the responses here, my spidey-sense was working correctly.

      • In Ohio, at least, our CCW instructor told us we were NOT allowed to have firearms on school properties, while on school business. (e.g. Walking down a sidewalk that passes by a school is ok. Going onto school property to pick up your kid is not.) The exception being that you are allowed to have a firearm in your vehicle, as long as the owner remains in the vehicle the entire time.

        Granted, I took the course a year-and-a-half ago, and I recall reading the state legislature wanted to make the laws less restrictive, so I’m not sure what the status is now.

  3. I love how in the video, they are out in a random field next to what looks like a well traveled highway doing speed shooting and nobody gives a crap. Business as usual.

  4. ” The man was reportedly “remorsefully unaware” that the federal Gun-Free Schools Zone Act prohibited possession of a loaded gun, even a properly licensed one, within 1,000 feet of a school.”

    Did I miss a memo? Because I see:

    18 U.S.C. § 922(q)(2)(A)] does not apply to the possession of a firearm—

    (ii) if the individual possessing the firearm is licensed to do so by the State in which the school zone is located or a political subdivision of the State, and the law of the State or political subdivision requires that, before an individual obtains such a license, the law enforcement authorities of the State or political subdivision verify that the individual is qualified under law to receive the license;

    (I never thought about it before, but it doesn’t seem like permitless carry would be exempt in AZ/VT/AK/etc)

    • Unless you consider that the state has licensed all people within its borders and pre-qualified all people under law. Then it does apply.

    • This is part of the problem with the law. In places like VT and AZ, there is no licensing. So an armed person driving on I91 in VT in the proximity of a school is breaking the law.

      To my knowledge, nobody has ever been prosecuted in this kind of way before. So its not exactly something the feds are concentrating on now.

      But they could in the future Imagine a federal road block on an Interstate highway adjacent to a school in AZ.

      • Exactly. Has anyone ever been prosecuted under this law? It was thrown out in court at first back in the 90’s if I remember right. Lopez?

        It was slightly tweaked and repassed I think.

      • AZ does still issue CCW licenses as well as having constitutional carry. I’ve heard it is for this reason, as well as for enabling residents to carry in other states that have reciprocity agreements.

    • Didn’t AZ, at least, actually pass a law authorizing everyone to carry? As opposed, for example, to simply repealing any law forbidding carry? Because that would clearly be verifying everyone’s qualifications to carry. I’m thinking VT has never had any such prohibition, an airhead could claim they simply haven’t thought about the possible evils, must be protected by the federal law.

      Why are there such laws in the first place? Are we really that stupid?

    • A few questions: What happens if you live across the street (well within 1000 feet) of a school and keep a few firearms in your gun safe? Are you now a criminal? What happens if you fire your firearm and safely strike your intended target with accuracy (rattlesnake/intruder)? Are you in violation of federal law, too?

      No sarcasm, no trolling, just genuinely curious about the consensus.

      And yes, I understand that any opinion on this website is intended only to provide a summary and general overview on matters of interest. It is not intended to be comprehensive nor does it constitute legal advice. I will seek legal or other professional advice before acting or relying on any of the information.

  5. Did people not have the paranoia level of gun safety in 1990 that we have today?
    When he’s shooting, there are people ahead of the firing line.
    When he’s displaying his guns, he points one of them right at the camera.

    • Well, “accidental” firearms-related death rates are down quite a bit since 1990, so maybe that paranoia is working?

    • When he was displaying them, the cylinder was open, I don’t care where the muzzle was pointed, get serious. This is not a religion, with magical stuff.

      • Haha!
        Kind of. A similar consistency of stringy white meat.
        I prefer mine grilled over mesquite, drizzled on with a mix of butter/honey and a hint of garlic.
        It’s very tasty.

        • I.m gonna have to try that, Tom! I like mine fried in butter, but your recipe might add a little kick.
          Hope that guy didn’t waste the meat.

  6. Matt in FL needs to bone up on his knowledge of the Federal Gun Free School Zone law.

    It does provide EXPLICIT exceptions if (and I’m quoting)
    (ii) if the individual possessing the firearm is licensed to do so by the State in which the school zone is located or a political subdivision of the State, and the law of the State or political subdivision requires that, before an individual obtains such a license, the law enforcement authorities of the State or political subdivision verify that the individual is qualified under law to receive the license;

    So the man was NOT in violation of the federal law. If that was the case, everyone driving by on the road in front of the school who was carrying, would be breaking the law.

    Don

    • Yeah, they keep moving for quite a long time after they’re dead. I remember when I was a teen and wanted to cut the rattle off a headless snake my mom had killed, and I couldn’t do it because it moved whenever I tried to cut into it. Yuk.

    • Yea, I have gutted and skinned snakes while they were still squirming. And no, snake does not taste like chicken, more like catfish.

  7. I believe you’re also exempt if your home is within 1000 ft. of the school. I once found a student i.d. about mile from the school. I walked back to the school and called the office from the roadway. I told them I was armed and asked if they could send someone out to get the card. The janitor came out to the sidewalk to get it from me. He thanked me and I went on my merry way. No panic, no lockdown, no problem. By the way, I live in Washington State.

  8. The Federal Law does not apply to licensed carriers within their own state who, in order to get the license, had to pass a background check and were granted that license by that state. So you must be a resident of that state and have a permit from your state. It also does not apply on private land (homes/businesses) within the school zone, but not part of the campus.

    Most states, including Arizona and Alaska thank you, prohibit even permit holders from carrying on school grounds. I believe AZ has a limited exception for within the zone around the school, but many states do not. And hence in most states it is still illegal under state law.

    I don’t know the intricacies of any state but my own (California) where a California CCW does exempt from state law as well, even inside the school (actually permission of the superintendent or equivalent in charge of the school also exempts, but that exception is not repeated by the Federal law). Also, Federal law applies to handguns and longguns, whereas California only applies to handguns (within the zone, but applies to both on actual school grounds). Which perhaps forms a very rare instance where Federal law prohibits something expressly allowed by California law with regard to guns (unsecured rifle on front seat!)

    Anyhow, point being you must know the state law too. I bet all states, just as CA does, repeats the same “does not apply to” private property in a school zone language. Well except maybe New York or DC (not a state, but close enough)

  9. The Federal law btw

    (2)
    (A) 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.
    (B) Subparagraph (A) does not apply to the possession of a firearm—
    [b](i) on private property not part of school grounds;[/b]
    (ii) if the individual possessing the firearm is licensed to do so by the State in which the school zone is located or a political subdivision of the State, and the law of the State or political subdivision requires that, before an individual obtains such a license, the law enforcement authorities of the State or political subdivision verify that the individual is qualified under law to receive the license;
    (iii) that is—
    (I) not loaded; and
    (II) in a locked container, or a locked firearms rack that is on a motor vehicle;
    (iv) by an individual for use in a program approved by a school in the school zone;
    (v) by an individual in accordance with a contract entered into between a school in the school zone and the individual or an employer of the individual;
    (vi) by a law enforcement officer acting in his or her official capacity; or
    (vii) that is unloaded and is possessed by an individual while traversing school premises for the purpose of gaining access to public or private lands open to hunting, if the entry on school premises is authorized by school authorities.

    • (vii) that is unloaded and is possessed by an individual while traversing school premises for the purpose of gaining access to public or private lands open to hunting, if the entry on school premises is authorized by school authorities.

      Good luck with this one! At least you will get to see an MRAP up close.

  10. My backyard is a high school. I always feel paranoid going to the range when I am loading my truck, that someone might see me and wet themselves prior to calling 911. Then I remember I live in Kansas.

  11. Love me some Jerry videos . Thanks for that.
    That definitely is a crazy spot… Next to the road, shoddy backstop, trailer park across the street. Members only jackets and khakis….those were the days

  12. Actually, it depends on state law, as to the crime/punishment of schools & guns. in some states what the father did would be perfectly legal, as long as you are licensed to carry, are a cop, etc. there are also a couple other exemptions that could apply. However, its best to be concealed [lawfully], and not visible.

  13. Now as a responsible gun owner, I know the exact location of my firearm (~20) at all times. I carry a glock 19 and a jframe daily. My question is: how does one “forget” a gun in their carryon bag? Maybe ammo, accessories but a gun?

    • I ask the same thing every time we have a story about someone “forgetting” a gun in a bag at an airport. It just boggles my mind.

  14. So, if I moved to VT, would a FL non-resident CC permit make me legit to carry in otherwise gun-free zones, or does that not qualify or VT not recognize out-of-state permits?

    Just theoretical. VT disallows suppressors entirely iirc so it’s not high on my list of places to go, but it’s on the short list now that I know they just let everyone carry. My mother wants to move there, actually, and I’m pondering whether it would be a good thing for her or a bad thing for everyone if I told her about that (Remember “Stop or My Mom Will Shoot”?)

  15. Um….anyone else notice that the snake is still moving?

    Remember when shooting to stop a threat the first question to ask after shooting it once or twice is, “Is he down?”

    I think they should have used a shotgun on it.

    : )

    Holy Rattler, Batman, that’s one big snake.

    And yes, they are rather tasty.

  16. Except in the great state of NY, penal code 265.01 you’re guilty of criminal possession of a weapon in the fourth degree if you knowingly possess any firearm (or other defined weapon – sword, blackjack, plastic knuckles etc.) upon the buildings or grounds “used for educational purposes” of any school, college or university…or upon a school bus..without the written authorization of such educational institution….I don’t see where there’s an exception if you are licensed (also no license is needed for long-guns (yet) except in NYC….which is a totally different issues unto itself….

    So…if I showed up at my range while they’re giving a firearms safety education class to some new members, is that a facility now considered as being used for “educational purposes”?

  17. I don’t understand why it’s so hard to separate your carry on from your range bag. I have a bag that I use for carrying firearms related stuff to the range, and it’s used for nothing else. I have a couple bags that I use as carry-on luggage and they don’t go to the range. Ever. I don’t keep guns in anything that goes on an airplane. Trouble is that even if you don’t get bagged for having a gun, the leftover residue from shooting could give a false positive if they wipe down your bag and do a check for explosives. (Happened to a friend once.). And, as a previous poster noted, I keep firm control of where my crap is anyway. Nylon bags are cheap. No excuse for having a gun in with your tightie whities.

    • Re. having a firearm when you check in. Seriously?

      Re. having powder residue….happens all the time.

      I set off TSA Spidey-sense when I traveled the morning after shooting in the evening at a gun club. I had a bit of ‘splainin’ to do.

      • A common ingredient found in beauty products can trigger a false positive with airport security, leading screeners to believe you could have been building a bomb. Glycerin, an ingredient in many lotions and other beauty products, has been known to alert the Transportation Security Administration’s Explosives Trace Detection technology.

  18. All the talk about the details of the gun free school zone law, and not one mention that the law is, itself, completely illegal?

    “…keep and bear….shall not be infringed.”

    I believe they’re infringing on my bearing.

  19. Shouldn’t this school be on permanent lockdown due to rattlesnakes? And did it really take 400 police officers, lights a-flashin, sirens a-screamin, etc to save them babies? I guess the days of one riot requiring one (Texas) Ranger are long gone, huh? Is that for the children?

  20. Per the Gun-Free School Zone Act, please note this exception:

    (ii) if the individual possessing the firearm is licensed to do so by the State in which the school zone is located or a political subdivision of the State, and the law of the State or political subdivision requires that, before an individual obtains such a license, the law enforcement authorities of the State or political subdivision verify that the individual is qualified under law to receive the license;

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