DETAILS & LINKS:
We are concerned here with state laws — as the footnote says, some federal laws may apply.
[Art.] 2-a. [The Bearing of Arms.] All persons have the right to keep and bear arms in defense of themselves, their families, their property and the state. (December 1, 1982)
The cited state law on guns in schools reads as follows:
193-D:2 State Board Rulemaking Authority; Public School District Policies. –
I. The state board of education shall adopt rules relative to safe school zones, under RSA 541-A, for public school pupils and public school employees regarding:
(b)(2) Standards and procedures which shall require expulsion of a pupil for knowingly possessing a firearm in a safe school zone without written authorization from the superintendent or designee.
Note that federal law DOES generally prohibit guns on school property (Gun Free School Zones Act), BUT also provides some exceptions, notably:
(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—
(i) on private property not part of school grounds;
(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; …
… which panel 3’s $10 CONCEALED WEAPON LICENSE law would seem to cover. Also, apparently if the gun is not loaded & in a locked container, it’s legal.
And while you may technically be in violation of FEDERAL law by bringing a gun into a school zone, there is very little likelihood that federal agents will be present to enforce that law. (This would require checkpoints at roads within 1000 feet of all schools receiving federal funding, and any armed individual passing that close to a school could face federal prison time.) NH state law concerns itself only with pupils having proper written authorization. (Does this mean a local school district superintendent can restrict a pupil’s constitutional right to bear a firearm?)
To get some perspective & context for these state laws, I’ve consulted the following sites:
- NH’s entry on SmartGunLaws.org
- The NH state profile at NRA.org.
- PRO-GUN NEW HAMPSHIRE has also posted a thought-provoking FAQ & commentary HERE.
And here’s the image posted by NHPR that got me thinking about these laws:
Interestingly enough, as I drew the final panel, the NH House Rules Committee was considering (and ultimately endorsing) repeal of the 2011 law permitting guns in the State House.
On the other hand, and at the same time, Salem, NH is currently trying to repeal its town hall gun ban.
NOT THE END! STAY TUNED!