All Irvine schools display signs to remind us that skateboarding, rollerblading, and bicycling on school grounds are prohibited. Also prohibited are golfing, the use of profanity and tobacco products.
What’s remarkable is what’s NOT on these signs. There is no signage that prohibits bringing a concealed weapon onto school property! That’s because, until now, it has been legal for those who have concealed weapons permits — hundreds in Irvine and thousands in Orange County — to carry their firearms just about anywhere.
Fortunately, a recent change in State law is going to force a long overdue change in school signage. Effective January 1, 2016, all concealed weapons (with the exception of firearms carried by law enforcement or other authorized security officials) will be banished from schools.
The California Gun-Free School Zone Act of 1995 already prohibited a person from having a firearm on campus or within a school zone (generally understood to be within 1,000 feet of all public and private K-12 grade schools). Separate provisions prohibited a person from carrying a firearm onto the campus of a public or private college or university. Unfortunately, until very recently, that law failed to prohibit a person with a concealed weapons permit from bringing a firearm onto school grounds.
Senate Bill 707, passed by the Legislature and signed by the Governor on October 15, 2015, amended the Gun-Free School Zone Act of 1995, closing the concealed weapons loophole. Individuals with concealed weapons permits — just like the rest of us — are no longer permitted to bring firearms onto school grounds. Period.
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