Private Schools Can Allow Guns on Campus in Ariz.

The legal opinion was handed down to clarify local interpretations of federal and state laws.

Private schools in Arizona are permitted to allow guns on their campuses according to a legal opinion released Sept. 2.

Attorney General Mark Brnovich said in his opinion the Federal Gun Free School Zones Act and similar state laws do not apply to concealed carry holders who get their permits from Arizona.

“If an Arizona private school were to initiate a program enrolling trained firearm handling persons in a program through which these persons would be allowed to carry concealed weapons in the school zone, the GFSZA’s prohibition would not apply to those enrolled individuals,” Brnovich wrote. “The analysis is much the same under Arizona law.”

The Federal Gun Free School Zones Act makes it a crime to knowingly possess a gun on the campuses of public, parochial or private schools unless the individual is licensed by the state.

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Brnovich released the opinion at the request of Senator Steve Yarbough, reports

“I work with a lot of private schools and several of them had inquired as to what they could do to make their campuses safer,” Yarbough says. “They inquired about what kind of personnel they could have on campus, and what kind of circumstances they could store firearms on campus.”

Brnovich also announced that no laws prohibit private schools from securely storing guns on their campuses.

“An Arizona private school could initiate a program in which they securely store firearms on campus and provide access to trained firearm handling employees,” Brnovich wrote.

The opinion, which refers to private elementary, middle and high schools, puts to rest discussions among state lawmakers about proposing another bill to clarify schools’ rights regarding the allowance of guns on campus.

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