Richard Repetti (courtesy newyork.cbslocal.com)

Richard Repetti [above] is a school photographer. Mr. Repetti went to P.S. 60 in Woodhaven, Queens to take pictures. “A .38-caliber handgun fell out of his ankle holster in the lobby,” newyork.cbslocal.com reports with incredulous incredulity. “Repetti did not even know the gun had fallen. Sources told CBS 2 a school staff member heard the gun clatter onto the floor and picked it up.” So Repetti didn’t know he’d dropped his gun for what, ten seconds? Well, that was more than enough to set parents’ hair on fire. Students too . . .

“What about if a child would find it?” said parent Jany Hidalgo. “What about it fell and something went off on that gun?” . . .

“A kid could have picked it up, God forbid, and shoot another kid” said parent Maria Yournet. “That’s scary now.” . . .

“I was surprised, because I really thought this was a safe school too,” said student Valentina Gutierrez, “And it’s a good thing that we have good teachers here.” . . .

“I’m really happy they didn’t tell me that there was a guy in the school with a gun, and my daughter – I’m worried,” said parent Freddy Hidalgo . . .

“I’m a parent; love my daughter,” Freddy Hidalgo said. “With everything that’s going on in the world nowadays, you’ve got to be on top of stuff like this.”

Repetti must have some serious juice to get a concealed carry permit in a state where they’re as rare as a Speed Graphic selfie. And despite the TV station’s contention that the legality of Repetti carrying in an elementary school “is a gray area,” it isn’t. The NY penal code makes carrying a gun on school grounds a felony. It does not exempt permit holders. §265.01a bans the

possession a rifle, shotgun or firearm in or upon a building or grounds, used for educational purposes, of any school, college or university, except the forestry lands, wherever located, owned and maintained by the State University of New York college of environmental science and forestry, without the written authorization of such educational institution

Did Repetti have a ballistic hall pass? The TV station reports that he will not be charged with any crime. BUT “his gun has been seized, and he will have to appeal to the firearm licensing section to get it back.” Good luck with that.

Meanwhile, if you ever wondered why New York legislators would pass a package of gun control laws that infringe upon the citizenry’s gun rights in such a Constitutionally egregious fashion – reread the comments above. Until New York is cleansed of its holophobia, the Empire State’s pro-disarmament pols will continue to use the Second Amendment for the human equivalent of kitty litter.

[Post updated. Erroneously cited Gun Free School Zones Act.]

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77 Responses to OMG! Someone Dropped a Gun! In an Elementary School! OMG!

    • It’s actually the best concealed carry method, when you consider the position most New Yorkers find themselves in with respect to gun rights.

    • I wear a gun on my ankle every day and it’s a great place to carry a gun. . . a back up gun. My primary is at 3-4 on my hip or just behind it. How do we know what hit the floor was the only gun he was carrying?

      That said though, if your piece hits the floor just walking down the hall you have seriously screwed up.

  1. From what I understand, certain states have CCW statues written in such a way in which CCW permits exempt the holder from the GFSZ Act.

    NY may well be one of them.

    • With only the very tippy-top of the politically connected, smug NYC elitists getting NYC permits, I would think that if such wording isn’t written into the law that it is most certainly an unwritten rule.

      • (or, to get technical, the NY penal code makes carrying a gun on school grounds a felony and does not exempt permit holders. So I’m not sure about the GFSA but they’re illegal by state law)

        • Nobody seems to be grasping the determining factor here. He was NOT carrying in a school, he was DROPPING!

    • Yup. Case in point, Michigan does not prohibit open carry in schools by those who hold a concealed pistol license.

      • Something about the wording in that law always struck me as a bug rather than a feature….but I’ll take it.

      • Open carry. I’m impressed, even if it is an accident. How many mass killers of children have escaped prosecution because of that wording?

    • Holding a permit/license from the state containing the school is an enumerated exemption to the GFSZA. Nothing to do with state law (other than the need for state law to provide for the existence of a permit).

      This issue here is whether he violated NY state law regarding carry in schools, which is appears he did (but I’m not familiar with NY’s laws on the subject).

  2. Exempt the person via state law over federal law? When do you think you are living, sir? Pre-1860? All we hear about is how Federal law ‘trumps’ state law….

    • 18 U.S.C. 922(q)(2)(b)(ii) exempts anyone who 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 you’re telling me that if I have a CCL, I can ignore the so called ‘gun free zones’ if my state allows it?

        • Ignore isn’t really the right word. But it’s more or less correct. Basically, if you have a license to carry that meets the requirements of the provision cited, you are not subject to the FEDERAL gun free school zone rules. BUT, it is important to remember that there is very like a STATE gun free school zone analogue to which you are subject. In many states, even if you have a license to carry, that license does not allow you to carry on school property. So while you would not be prosecuted under federal law, you would still be prosecuted under state law in most states.

        • Yes

          Take a look at New Hampshire’s carry permit laws as an example. If you have a permit, you can carry on school grounds. There is a weird exception where you can’t carry if you are a student but, I’m pretty sure they don’t give out permits to elementary school students. I think Indiana does this too. Michigan too maybe?

        • California allows CCW on school grounds…actually the only restrictions in the penal code are the Governors Mansion/residence w/o his permission, and the Capitol grounds without the Sergeant at arms permission, and at a court case which you are a party to. I am sure there might e a couple more, but schools are okay.

        • Texas is the same – a CHL holder is not subject to the FEDERAL Gun Free School Zone Act law, but instead is subject to Texas law, which has a number of specific restrictions regarding schools that are spelled out in Texas statutes and definitions.

        • From Pro-Gun NH on NH law:
          There’s also an exemption for people holding carry licenses, but only if state law 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.” Unfortunately, New Hampshire state law (RSA 159:6) arguably does NOT make the cut, in part because town selectmen and city mayors can issue carry licenses, and they’re not “law enforcement authorities,” and also because that RSA doesn’t require law enforcement authorities to do anything. But even if your carry license was issued by a police chief, it may not protect you, because our state law doesn’t meet the requirements of the federal law.

        • “a CHL holder is not subject to the FEDERAL Gun Free School Zone Act law”

          GGinTX, you are wrong. You are still subject to the federal law. It’s just that under federal law you are allowed to carry in a Texas School if you have a Texas license. Me, I wouldn’t be as I don’t have a Texas carry license. And you couldn’t carry in a Michigan school without a Michigan CPL.

        • Danny Griffin you are also wrong. In Texas, with a Texas CHL, one can be on school grounds, but cannot enter the premise, i.e. enter the building. Also, if school activities are taking place, such as a football game or some other school activity on the grounds, one cannot be on that premise. The caveat to that is, if you have the school’s permission, you can enter with your CHL and concealed firearm; but good luck with that. For colleges, you cannot enter any of the buildings, unless it is a private college and you have their permission; again, good luck with that.

        • [sigh] BillC, my point is you are still subject to the federal gfsz law even if you have a Texas carry license. You are not exempt from the federal law like GGinTX stated. Federal law allows school zone carry if licensed in the same state. But you still have to follow the state laws, whatever they might be. I am not arguing Texas law, I was explaining federal law.

        • Wow. CGinTX and Danny, let’s hit the pause button, since this is such a very serious aspect of firearms law. CG is *technically* incorrect in saying a licensee isn’t subject to the federal law. You’re ALWAYS subject to federal law. However, federal law has an exception for licensees. That’s the point Danny made. Complying with a law’s exception is still being subject to the law. It’s a somewhat semantic point, but most of the legal system is based on such. So there it is.

          As for Danny’s other comment ‘It’s just that under federal law you are allowed to carry in a Texas School if you have a Texas license”, that’s flat out wrong. Even with a Texas Concealed Handgun License (CHL), you are not permitted to carry a concealed firearm on school premises without written approval from the school district. See Texas Penal Code section 46.03. The key legal word is “premises.” In Texas, that means the actual physical buildings, school vehicles, or enclosed areas such as fields. Premises also includes ANY place where high school or college sports or interscholastic competition is taking place.

          Premises does not include the parking lot, external walkways, streets, or other open areas. So saying you can carry “in Texas schools” is overly broad.

          Be very, very careful on the rules, especially when it comes to schools, because you can get into a world of trouble if you’re mistaken. The single best consolidated resource, outside of a qualified attorney, is “The Texas Gun Owners Guide”, by Alan Korwin. It’s widely used by instructors, students, even DPS itself as a handbook on the statutes, rulings and AG opinions. It’s been in publication since the CHL law went into effect in 1995 and it’s updated periodically.

        • Johnathon — Houston, if you have a CHL, federal law does not prohibit you from carrying in a GFSZ in Texas. You are still subject to state, and if your state doesn’t have preemption, local laws. A CHL does not “override” federal law as was stated by GG. And you must be licensed in the state the school is in. That’s all I said. So yes, the federal law allows GFSZ carry if you are licensed. Your state and local laws may not. Don’t read more into what I wrote than what I wrote.

          That’s what this entire discussion is about, stemming from Shawn’s question.

      • And just to throw a monkey wrench into the discussion:

        the law enforcement authorities of the State or political subdivision verify that the individual is qualified under law to receive the license

        The .gov prosecuted a man for carrying a gun in either GA or AL (I forget which) because the .gov argued the state was giving licenses away like candy without doing due diligence in verifying the backgrounds of the licensee.

        • You are thinking of the Tait case in Alabama in the 11 circuit. It was ruled favorable to the permit holder.

          And you do not need a MI CPL to be exempt from the FGFSZA in Michigan. Having used a License to Purchase, Transport, or Possess a Pistol qualifies (Permit to purchase). MCL 28.422 says the license expires in 30 days, unless used; therefore, a LTP is valid for life as long as you still possess the firearm used under the license.

        • Jared, yes, I’ve heard that argument. I like it. I don’t think it’s ever been tested, though, but it sounds good to me. 🙂

          Glad the AL case was ruled in favor of the permit holder.

    • I’m continually amazed at the number of people that don’t understand gun laws. Federally you are exempt if you are licensed in the state of the school. At that point it goes down to state level laws. If you carry a gun, learn the laws.

      • Great plan, HOWEVER! Please note, the following is not a complaint. In TX, and I suspect in many other states, the laws are changing so rapidly it’s near impossible to keep up. My son was trying to figure how to set up his recertification after 15 years, when he found somewhere that 3 months earlier recertifications were eliminated just fill out an online form and charge the theft to your credit card, new license arrives around 2 weeks later. That greased the skid for my wife and I, but I watch a LOT of news, and I had never heard such a change was being considered. None of us had.

        Look; the huge number of wild claims of gunfights in the streets and blood running in the sewers if (fill in the blank) happens, have come to nothing for 25 years now, nobody believes it any more, no matter how much Bloominidiot spends. Proposing new relaxation of gun laws is getting easier, and I suspect around Feb. it will be easier yet. But it does give you a challenge to keep up with them.

        • I wasn’t sure if you were raised in Texas, Larry, so you may not have had Texas history/civics in school and be aware of our legislature’s workings. It operates under a biennial system, such that Representatives and Senators are elected in even numbered years and serve for the following year’s legislative session. That single session runs for 140 days starting in January. It’s not like a lot of other states or the U.S. Congress where they’re fully in session for the entire two years, except for the holidays. 140 days, every two years, and that’s it. After the 140 days of regular session, nobody even physical meets until two years later following the next elections. (Well, the Governor can call a special session to last up to 30 days, but those are uncommon because they can be very politically dicey for everyone.)

          What it means to citizens is that most new laws go into effect on September 1st of the odd numbered year, very soon after the legislature adjourns. As a Texan, you’ll want to pay particular attention to the local news in the weeks leading up to Sept. 1st, especially on the weekend before that day. The local stations and papers will always run a story on the major changes which, this being Texas, always includes firearms. Some laws take effect on January 1st of the following year. So watch for this same process in December of odd numbered years, too. Here’s an example article from last year to get you up to speed: http://abc13.com/archive/9223376/

          Beyond that, there are Texas-specific gun forums (fora?) which you can check out, too, and they’ll help keep you legal.

  3. Actually, once you get out of the Democratic cities, it’s almost a shall issue state.

    The Democratic cities are the problem. For example in Buffalo, you can’t have more than 5 rounds in a handgun, or is it a 5 round magazine. one or the other.
    Once out of the Democrats cities, if you’re normal, with no felonies or other distinguishing marks, you can get a CHP.

    On the other hand, you have to be a friend of the Mayor, Governor or Bloom]ie (now DeBlasio) or one of the special people to get one.

  4. Would Mr. Repetti not meet exemption 2?

    ”(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 don’t know much about New York carry permits, but wouldn’t a CCW from the state of NY meet this definition?

  5. God forbid some student had parents wise enough to have their child recognize the pistol, pick it up by the barrel (barrel down) and say, “Excuse me sir, I think you dropped this.”

      • ..panic, run ‘n hide…

        It appears from the quotes of the parents and students that these hopelessly hoplophobic New Yorkers have been completely brainwashed. Never mind expecting any rational safety oriented reaction. Any firearm is…GODZILLA.

  6. Life long new yorker here. Under cuomos “safe act” it’s now an E felony to possess a firearm on school grounds state wide. I have a ccw permit and carry, this increased penalty obviously is working great as this guy knowingly brought a gun in he seems to be without a legal defense….maybe nyc govt is corrupt?

  7. Yeah im gonna side with the parents on this one. If your dumb enough to break the law by carrying on school grounds and careless enough to let your gun fall out onto the ground…I really dont care what happens to you as a result. Smarten up, gun owners. This should have been the irresponsible gun owner of the day. Defending the dumb and careless among gun owners makes us all look dumb and careless.

    • I’d more quickly go with ‘irresponsible legislation of the day.’

      One time my P226 fell out of my cheap Uncle Mike’s IWB holster at the small of my back while I was outside in the winter time throwing snowballs with my kids and doing a lot of stooping/bending over to pick them up and toss them into the snow banks on either side of my driveway. Mildly embarrassing? Yeah. Prison-worthy? No. A lesson in cheap holsters? Mos Def.

    • +1 to Ken’s comment. If your gun’s falling to the ground, you’ve done at least one thing wrong.

      • Might want to listen to what you are saying. Law abiding citizen, trying to earn a living, has a really minor accident (try to imagine it happening in Central Park, try to imagine anybody caring!) and we should throw him in freakin’ PRISON? Not there to murder kids, 2A hasn’t been repealed, nobody was hurt, and you think PRISON? WTF is up with that?

  8. I can’t help but just shake my head a bit at some of those quoted statements. Specifically the second from the top. The one about a kid seeing a dropped gun and snatching it up to shoot someone with it. What kind of child is going to see a dropped gun and immediately run up to it and start trying to shoot people with it?

    It makes me think of the film ‘Ghosts of Mars’. A gun lands on the ground and IMMEDIATELY all the children get infected with alien ghosts or something that make them claw and rip at their class mates just to have a chance at getting that gun and shooting someone.

  9. “What about if a child would find it?” … well I’m sure he would stop, not touch it, get away and tell an adult. That’s part of the school curriculum RIGHT?….

  10. Rob, please correct the GFSZA part of your article. It’s incorrect and misleading. He is exempt from the GFSZA. He had a New York permit.

    Did you have a memory lapse, you should know this, you used to carry into schools in Rhode Island.

  11. New York City! Reminds me of old Pace Picante Sauce commercial….New York City! I am surprised they did not shut the school down, the town down and put all the children into gun safe shelters (where ever that may be?). Second Amendment supporters need to do something in NY to change those laws.

  12. Betcha he has a rabbi. Family member is a cop, lawyer or judge. Or a Democratic Party player.

  13. Here are a couple of weird things about the Gun Free School Zone Act.

    If your state and local laws allow it, it’s possible to legally carry in a school. However, as far as I can tell, it’s still illegal to discharge the firearm, and there are no exceptions. So if an attack happened in a school, and someone legally carrying shot the attacker, I think they could still be charged under the GFSZA.

    I don’t see any provision in the GFSZA that would make it legal for a gun owner who (a) did not have a concealed carry permit from a state that conducts background checks for the permit to (b) have a gun within 1000 feet of a school unless (c) he’s on his own private property. That means if you live within 1000 feet of a school, and don’t have a CCP that requires a background check, your guns are stuck in your house. You can’t take them hunting or to the range even.

    Anybody have any thoughts on this?

    • Not my favorite thing to say, but if anyone tried to prosecute the hero of the day, he would be hung by the parents and the laws would be changed. OTOH, if it were me, he would actually have to shoot somebody before I would act. Otherwise, I would in fact be the guilty party.

  14. Thank you for the correction Rob.

    Others have asked if NY’s school ban exempts permit holders, it does not. He would have needed permission from the school; however, being that he has enough pull to get a NYC license. He will retroactively have permission. It’s was recently done for Cuomo’s lacky a month or two ago.

  15. Off topic but related, anyone in the New York area have anything further on that #%(#& of a Homeland Security director who laser-pointed his guests with his Glock in the uber-secret NYState Emergency Management offices? No carry ticket, in an illegal carry zone, and not a word about it after the initial reports.

    Life as usual in New York. When I lived there, Mario Cuomo was governor. Not perfect but usually good by my standards. But OMG the apple fell way far from the tree with the offspring.

  16. Wait a minute. How is this guy not receiving the award for Irresponsible Gun Owner of the Day for failing to properly secure a gun in a holster (or buying a poorly designed holster for ankle carry) and for bringing his gun into the school?

    Sorry but this guy does not deserve a post under the “OMG” sarcasm article format.

    • Yeah, you beat me to it. However asinine GFSZ laws might be, it’s still our duty to handle our guns responsibly, and I just have no words for somebody who manages to lose a gun from his holster without realizing it.

  17. Look, I love this website and I know it’s fun to mock media sensationalism and the overreactions of the antigun crowd.

    That said, I can think of very few situations where weapon retention is more important than when carrying in a school. There is no excuse to make for a guy who was committing a felony by carrying his firearm in a school, then loses his weapon and does not realize it. That requires several levels of irresponsibility, and while obviously almost every gun made these days is completely drop safe, the question of what might have happened if a child had found that weapon before an adult is perfectly valid.

    If we as pro-2A folks don’t want to be thought of by the public as Ted Nugent and George Zimmerman, we already have an uphill battle ahead of us. The media is not going to do us any favors. It’s extremely important that we disavow and distance ourselves from those who abuse their right to bear arms, whether it be a mass shooter or someone who disregards the grave responsibility that accompanies of going armed. Trivializing a story like this does us no favors. Again, I love you guys and you have done a lot of good for the cause, but I believe the tone of this article is ill advised. It’s your website and your opinions, but I would hate to see this linked to as an argument about how irresponsible gun owners are as a group.

    • Thanks for your well written opinion. There is still time for the author/website owner to reconsider his stance on this issue and reclassify it as the Irresponsible Gun Owner of the Day. I am a long-term reader but was shocked at the wrong stance of this article. Hey, it happens occasionally when posting articles every day… it just needs to be corrected and then we move on with a higher regard for the author/website owner.

      • That would be………(correctly) Idiot Gun Owner Of The Day…………..There………fixed it for ya………….

  18. Hell, our school’s liasion officer’s glock popped out of his holster today at our annual student vs. Staff kickball game as he slid to catch a ball. Nobody gave a crap, he’s a pretty friendly guy too.

  19. Spelling police. Step away from the “holophobia”. (last sentence in the post) Let me see your hoplophobia. Do it now!

  20. Um permits are not rare in nys ,NYC yes nys no.

    My family most of my co workers,neighbors,friends etc. All have Carry permits in nys. Never had to renew it in 30 years, no classes to take , can carry in bars .oh sure the safe act sucks,as do many of our gun laws,but carry permits are anything but rare around here.

    In 30 yeas I have never once seen a no guns sign posted anywhere

  21. I call BullSH!t on this story! A gun falls on the ground and it didn’t go off and shot anyone near by. Also someone other then the owner initially picked it up and the gun didn’t make them shot everybody or themselves. It’s on news and in the movies, when ever you pick up a gun you want to shoot someone….anyone. Gun falling on the ground and not going off by its self, it must have been broken or empty. Total BS.

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