Robert W. Davis, Jr.,
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Carrying a gun on school property is a crime

On Behalf of | May 28, 2024 | Federal Criminal Defense |

Carrying a gun on school grounds in Mississippi is a serious offense with harsh consequences under both federal and state law. The Gun-Free School Zones Act (GFSA) of 1994 is a federal law that prohibits the possession or discharge of firearms within a school zone. This law applies to all public, private, and parochial elementary and secondary schools in the United States. The school zone is the area within 1,000 feet of the grounds of a school, including any school-sponsored event or activity.

Furthermore, the GFSA is a “zero tolerance” law, meaning that even unintentional or inadvertent violations can result in harsh penalties. This strict enforcement aims to send a clear message about the importance of keeping schools gun-free and prioritizing the safety of students, teachers and staff members.

Mississippi law enhances penalties

Mississippi law strengthens the GFSA with stricter penalties for gun possession on school grounds. Mississippi Code makes it a felony to possess a firearm on “educational property,” which includes buses, campus grounds, schools, community colleges and universities. A conviction for this crime carries significant consequences, including:

  • Imprisonment for up to three years
  • A fine of up to $5,000
  • Mandatory expulsion for students

For individuals found guilty of knowingly possessing a firearm in a school zone, the consequences can include up to five years of imprisonment in an adult federal prison. The specific charges you face will depend on your age, the type of firearm and whether it has bullets.

The law does provide limited and strictly regulated exceptions for certain individuals, such as law enforcement officers and individuals with valid permits or licenses to carry firearms.

What to do if caught with a gun on school property

If authorities catch you with a gun on school property, exercise your right to remain silent. School officials will contact law enforcement, and any statements you make can be used against you in court.

School gun laws prioritize safety in educational environments. If you are facing legal consequences for carrying a gun on school grounds, you may want to seek legal counsel to help you understand your rights and determine the legal options you currently have.


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