A bill to keep gun owners in constitutional carry states out of a federal legal pitfall while near a school zone was introduced this month to the U.S. Senate.
The Constitutional Carry States’ Rights Act was filed last week by U.S. Sen. Mike Rounds, a South Dakota Republican, who stressed the state’s pending permitless concealed carry law could pose an issue for those passing near school zones. In short, the federal Gun-Free School Zones Act bans carrying firearms within 1,000 feet of a school zone, with an exception for those with a carry permit. Supporters of the bill fear that those practicing legal constitutional carry may not meet that exception.
“This legislation would help ensure that gun owners exercising Constitutional carry will no longer be stuck with confusing laws about where they can and can’t have their firearms,” said U.S. Sen. Mike Enzi, R-Wyoming, a co-sponsor.
According to sponsors, the bill, filed as S.1506, would cover both local and out-of-state individuals lawfully carrying a concealed weapon within 1,000 feet of a school zone in states that recognize constitutional carry. The move is needed, points out Enzi’s office, because for example a traveler driving along Interstate 25 in Cheyenne will come within the school zone limit set by the GFSZA, which, if the driver is carrying without a permit, could technically be a violation of federal law.
The Constitutional Carry States’ Rights Act currently has seven sponsors, all Republicans, and has been referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee.