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Teachers with Concealed Gun Permits

Unfortunately, incidents continue to occur at schools throughout the country.  Teachers care about their students and they care about safety.  But many law-abiding Indiana teachers with valid lifetime concealed carry permits have found themselves in legally uncertain – or at least confusing – territory.  This is because legislation passed a few years back allowing employees to keep weapons locked in cars on employers’ property; yet it’s a Class D Felony to possess a gun on school property.

So where does that leave teachers?  If a weapon is secured in a teacher’s car in the school parking lot, is it contained within his property or is the teacher committing a felony for having a weapon on school property?

The current law as it relates to weapons on school property was updated this legislative session with SEA 1.  With the amendment, which goes into effect July 1, 2013, a teacher needs the school’s permission in order to have a gun on school property, parking lot or in the building.  If not, it is a Class D Felony.  Ironically, the law does not apply to a person transporting another person to or from school.

The current Indiana Code (IC 35-47-9) is cited below along with how the amendment in SEA 1 (2013) has been changed by the legislature and accepted by the Governor.  Again, the change is effective July 1, 2013.

IC 35-47-9
Chapter 9. Possession of Firearms on School Property and School Buses

IC 35-47-9-0.1
Repealed
Repealed by P.L.63-2012, SEC.78.)

IC 35-47-9-1
Exemptions from chapter

Sec. 1. This chapter does not apply to the following:
(1) A:
(A) federal;
(B) state; or
(C) local;
law enforcement officer.
(2) A person who has been employed or authorized by:
(A) a school; or
(B) another person who owns or operates property being used by a school for a school function; to act as a security guard, perform or participate in a school function, or participate in any other activity authorized by a school.
(3) A person who:
(A) may legally possess a firearm; and
(B) possesses the firearm in a motor vehicle that is being operated by the person to transport another person to or from a  school or a school function.

As added by P.L.140-1994, SEC.11.

IC 35-47-9-2
Possession of firearms on school property, at school function, or on school bus; felony

Sec. 2. A person who possesses a firearm:
(1) in or on school property;
(2) in or on property that is being used by a school for a school function; or
(3) on a school bus;
commits a Class D felony.

SEA1 amendment effective July 1:

SECTION 12. IC 35-47-9-1 IS AMENDED TO READ AS FOLLOWS [EFFECTIVE JULY 1, 2013]: Sec. 1. This chapter does not apply to the following:

(1) A:
(A) federal;
(B) state; or
(C) local;
law enforcement officer.
(2) A person who may legally possess a firearm and who has been employed or authorized by:
(A) a school; or a school board (as defined by IC 20-26-9-4); or
(B) another person who owns or operates property being used by a school for
a school function; the body that administers a charter school
established under IC 20-24;
to act as a security guard, perform or participate in a school function, or
participate in any other activity authorized by a school. carry a firearm
in or on school property.
(3) A person who:
(A) may legally possess a firearm; and
(B) possesses the firearm in a motor vehicle that is being operated by the person to transport another person to or from a school or a school function.
(4) A person who is a school resource officer, as defined in IC 20-26-18.2-1.

SECTION 13. IC 35-47-9-2 IS AMENDED TO READ AS FOLLOWS [EFFECTIVE JULY 1, 2013]: Sec. 2. A person who possesses a firearm:

(1) in or on school property; or
(2) in or on property that is being used by a school for a school function; or
(3) (2) on a school bus;
commits a Class D felony.

Teachers seeking to carry their weapon will either need to obtain school permission or find a reasonable parking spot not actually on school property if they seek to follow the Indiana law governing weapons on school property.

About the Author

Brian Williams

Brian P. Williams, a Managing Partner at Evansville law firm Kahn, Dees, Donovan & Kahn, LLP, is a member of the firm’s Economic Development, Estate Planning & Probate Administration, Litigation and Trial Services, and Real Estate Law practice teams; and has served clients in industries including construction, manufacturing and education for more than 30 years.  He especially excels  when advocating economic development projects and site locations.  Honed from service as a private practitioner, federal magistrate, industrial foundation officer, federal law clerk, and civic leader, Brian’s analytical skills empower clients to more swiftly reach durable solutions.

For more information on this topic, please contact Brian Williams at (812) 423-3183 or BWilliams@KDDK.com; or contact any member of the KDDK Government, Schools and Municipal Law Practice Team.