Our Turn: Keep guns out of our schools

Our Turn: Keep guns out of our schools

Gun Rights

In New Hampshire, state law allows legal gun owners to carry guns into public schools. The law, as presently interpreted by the state attorney general, forbids local school boards from prohibiting anyone but students and employees from possessing a gun on school grounds. Like many in our state, we had long assumed that the federal Gun Free School Zone Act worked to keep guns out of our schools. But a recent New Hampshire attorney general ruling concluded that, by virtue of a provision in the act, the GFSZA does not apply because of New Hampshire’s open-carry laws. New Hampshire is one of only three states in the nation where guns cannot be prohibited from K-12 schools. Ironically it is the only state allowing guns in K-12 schools but where guns can be kept off university property (UNH is a gun-free school). The New Hampshire Legislature is currently considering House Bill 564, which will generally align state and federal law in prohibiting guns in “safe school zones.” We join the NEA of New Hampshire and the N.H. Medical Association in advocating for the passage of this bill. In a lengthy day of public testimony on HB 564, gun-owner groups made the case that any restriction on guns in schools violated their Second Amendment rights. Yet the landmark Supreme Court ruling in District of Colombia v. Helle r expressly recognizes that the restriction of guns in schools is presumptively legal. Indeed, Justice Antonin Scalia, who wrote the opinion, highlighted that the […]

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