Author Topic: Keeping Firearm in Personal Vehicle on School Property  (Read 9703 times)

brian9117

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Keeping Firearm in Personal Vehicle on School Property
« on: September 24, 2014, 09:09:06 PM »
Is it lawful for me to keep my firearm concealed, secured, and locked up in my personal vehicle in a high school parking lot?  I am a teacher with a conceal carry license.  I understand it is a felony to bring a firearm into a school building in every capacity, but if there were a terrible case of school violence, I would like to know that my firearm would be nearby so I could protect my students in a Newtown type event.

I would give my life for my students.  I would like to know more about my rights as a conscientious, caring citizen.

Thanks
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Neighbor

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Re: Keeping Firearm in Personal Vehicle on School Property
« Reply #1 on: September 25, 2014, 09:00:45 PM »
I am not a lawyer, but yes as a Texas concealed carry license holder, it is legal for you to have your firearm in your vehicle on school property. However, it is possible (depending on your particular school) that you may be violating your school policy and could be dismissed/fired if found out. You state that you understand it is a felony to bring a firearm into a school building "in any capacity". Not sure exactly what that means, but in Texas a local school can give permission for concealed carry at school so in that situation it would not be a felony. Several schools in Texas have done this.
Not sure about the feasibility of being able to access your legal weapon in time to help in a Sandy Hook situation, but still better than leaving the gun at the house.
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mayfieldh

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Re: Keeping Firearm in Personal Vehicle on School Property
« Reply #2 on: September 26, 2014, 11:20:14 AM »
I would just like to add to what Brian9117 said before TLS answer this question.

What if someone did come on the school property with a rifle and started shooting people.  Even if Brian9117 did have his weapon locked up in his car, wouldn't he still be prosecuted if he went out to the parking lot and got his weapon and even shooting the person with the rifle and saving other lives.  Is there a law that says you are ONLY allowed to use your weapon in RESTRICTED places ONLY when you are trying to save other lives.

Thanks...
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brian9117

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Re: Keeping Firearm in Personal Vehicle on School Property
« Reply #3 on: September 26, 2014, 10:56:37 PM »
During this year's "Armed Intruder Training," our instructor talked about such an occurrence.  A high school principal in a small school a few years back got into such a situation.  An intruder (a student) came into the school, firing randomly into a crowd.  The principal ran to his truck, retrieved his pistol, and held his firearm on the young man until the police arrived.  This principal saved many lives; he was not prosecuted.  Technically, he had broken school policy, but our instructor merely remarked: "The principal was "taken care of."  This man is still the principal at the school and, for the most part, people were glad he was there to save lives.  How could any reasonable person fault this man?  He saved the lives of people's babies!  These are our children.  I'm glad he was there, and I'm sure there are many families in that town who are as well.

I hope to hear from a lawyer on this soon.
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kurtpenn

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Re: Keeping Firearm in Personal Vehicle on School Property
« Reply #4 on: September 27, 2014, 06:40:38 AM »
I don't remember the exact wording I've heard before, but if by breaking the law is for the greater good (saving life), you will be justified by the means. I just remember it was something along those lines...
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brian9117

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Re: Keeping Firearm in Personal Vehicle on School Property
« Reply #5 on: September 27, 2014, 02:11:27 PM »
Quote from: "kurtpenn"
I don't remember the exact wording I've heard before, but if by breaking the law is for the greater good (saving life), you will be justified by the means. I just remember it was something along those lines...
kurtpenn:

I'm not sure exactly whose quote you are referring to, but I believe this argument stems from Plato's Republic; in The Republic, Plato argues that a "noble lie" is sometimes necessary in the politic of a society to maintain order.  Of course, Plato is speaking from the theological perspective of an ancient Athenian, and defines his argument on the basis of the class system in that period. In his scenario, it would be a member of the elite class who would tell the "noble lie" for "the greater good." This argument, raised in our time, opens a whole new can of worms.

For example, the principal who kept his firearm in his vehicle--even though it was against policy--can be thought to have told 'the noble lie."  In his case, his lie did turn out to have a positive effect on the greater good.  However, his actions could be viewed by some as a form of elitism--a scenario in which he held his personal ethic and morality to be "more pure" and more consistent with the true needs of his community.  Sadly, there are people in America who would call this principal a sort of vigilante. I applaud the principal's courageous, selfless actions, but I recognize the inherent dangers of the situation.  He did break with the policies created by his own community, and some people, rightfully, do see problems with this; we can be assured that merely occupying a leader's role in a community does not automatically anoint a person with supreme, absolute morality and truth.

Personally, I prefer to adhere as closely to our democratically synthesized customs and laws as possible--at least until these laws begin to abrogate my natural rights as a free citizen, who only wants to protect his family, as well as the innocence of our children.  Innocence is under attack these days.  This is the most doleful aspect of our society today.
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kurtpenn

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Re: Keeping Firearm in Personal Vehicle on School Property
« Reply #6 on: September 28, 2014, 05:52:30 PM »
brain9117:

All I know... is that if I felt the law had to be broken (at that moment) to protect another's life... than damn the law!  My moral responsibility to protect another would prevail... and if it meant I be held accountable by 'the law', then fine, I would suffer the concequences and at least know in my heart I did what was right and necessary at that moment.  I understand how some may try to use their 'moral compass' to justify their actions.... mine is pretty specific to the situation(s).

Now, I also know that I may get bashed for morals to take another's life, but in a situation as described, their is an evil and innocent (good)... the evil must be dealt with.  Obviously, my final judgement would be by God... I would just have to hope that he felt my deed was justified for good in the end.  I'm sure this is something that many law enforcement and military deal with constantly.
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brian9117

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Re: Keeping Firearm in Personal Vehicle on School Property
« Reply #7 on: September 29, 2014, 07:55:43 PM »
Kurt Penn:

Well said.  As we know laws, however many we may.make and amend, are incapable covering all scenarios of public life.
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mayfieldh

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Re: Keeping Firearm in Personal Vehicle on School Property
« Reply #8 on: September 30, 2014, 12:04:02 PM »
Will Texas Law Shield ever answer this original question.  I have been checking every day waiting for a response..
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TexasLawShield

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Re: Keeping Firearm in Personal Vehicle on School Property
« Reply #9 on: October 02, 2014, 01:06:57 PM »
brian9117,

 Neighbor above is correct. In terms of purely criminal law, it is legal for you to have your firearm locked in your personal vehicle in Texas; in fact, under Texas law, if the school board or superintendent gave you written permission you would be able to carry into the school building itself (how likely this is depends on your school, of course). Keep in mind, from a non-criminal law perspective, the school can fire you for violating their policies (no guns in parking lots). Even though there is an employer parking lot law (which states employers should not prohibit you from storing your firearm in your vehicle in the parking lot), that law does not have a penalty for its violation nor a remedy for individuals fired, rendering it into essentially a paper tiger.  This is a long way to say that while criminally you’re fine, be wary of employer policies being enforced as you could lose your job.  

With regard to mayfieldh’s question, while theoretically it would be possible to be charged, it is very unlikely that if you took down a mass shooter during a critical incident on a school you would receive anything other than a handshake. Additionally, even if you were charged with a crime, you could argue both a self-defense justification for carrying into a school, and a “necessity” defense (that the harm you committed was outweighed by the harm you prevented). I believe this necessity defense is what kurtpenn was alluding to earlier, rather than the philosophical approach brian9117 provides. Keep in mind, for both of these defenses, it means it has to start from a legally justifiable self-defense standpoint; you cannot simply carry into places that are prohibited because you think there might someday be a shooting event.

Hope this helps.
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mayfieldh

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Re: Keeping Firearm in Personal Vehicle on School Property
« Reply #10 on: October 03, 2014, 07:57:37 AM »
Thanks TLS for your response..
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brian9117

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Re: Keeping Firearm in Personal Vehicle on School Property
« Reply #11 on: October 04, 2014, 09:08:07 PM »
Thank you, TexasLawShield.  My school--like most others I'm sure--has patrol dogs.  These dogs are trained to sniff out explosive materials, drugs, etc.  Our local police department provides this service, but mostly they check student parking lots.  I'll look more closely at the policy at my school before storing my firearm in my locked vehicle.

Thanks.
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switch

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Re: Keeping Firearm in Personal Vehicle on School Property
« Reply #12 on: October 05, 2014, 12:24:54 PM »
I disagree it has to be the board or superintendent.

If a teacher wanted me to give a gun safety class or the janitor hired me for a contract job and either were willing to give me written permission, I think I could rely on it.

I have asked for written permission several times, but never got it. :(

Probably depend on how well you know them.  If you can blackmail them, you might get written permission. :)
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Neighbor

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Re: Keeping Firearm in Personal Vehicle on School Property
« Reply #13 on: October 06, 2014, 06:04:13 PM »
Not so sure Switch. I pretty sure that at our local school the teacher or janitor would quickly find out they are not "authorized" to contract with anyone or "authorize" anything as controversial as bringing a weapon into a school without it being approved "up the ladder". I'm guessing they would be looking for employment elsewhere. I'm sure I wouldn't base my authorization to carry in a school building on anyone other than School Board and/or Superintendent
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switch

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Re: Keeping Firearm in Personal Vehicle on School Property
« Reply #14 on: October 20, 2014, 06:39:50 AM »
That teacher or janitor might be looking for other employment, but that is NOT my problem. :)  The question was: "Who could give me permission."  
Actually, I've asked for permission several times but never received it.  I guess it depends on how well you know that individual, if you can blackmail them.....
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