ree‖ School Zones:
A Deadly Legal Fiction
This Article analyzes the law and policy regarding the licensedcarrying of firearms in K
12 schools and in colleges and universities. TheArticle suggests that absolute bans have proven to be extremely dangerous,because they turn schools into uniquely attractive targets for massmurderers. The Article focuses on prohibitions applied to people who havealready been licensed to carry a handgun for lawful protection in publicplaces. The Article does not address the bans as applied to persons whohave not obtained or could not obtain such a permit
such as those underthe age of twenty-one in most states.Part II of this Article surveys the legal, factual, and politicalbackground. Part III describes current programs, in the United States andelsewhere, in which teachers or students are allowed or required to carryfirearms for defense. Part IV examines empirical evidence about whetherarmed defenders can deter or interrupt mass killers at schools, and whetherarmed defenders have done so. Part V analyzes various objections tocampus defense, with particular attention to the argument that facultyand/or adult students are so dangerous that they should not be allowed tocarry arms. Part V also addresses the issue of unarmed victims being toldnever to fight back.This Article does not argue in favor of one particular method forauthorizing already-licensed people to carry firearms on campus. On theone hand there is Utah law, which allows firearms carrying and possessionby anyone with a concealed handgun carry permit
including indormitories for students aged twenty-one or over.
On the other hand,there was the Nevada Board of Regents proposal to allow carry only by
David Kopel is Adjunct Professor of Advanced Constitutional Law at Denver University SturmCollege of Law, Research Director of the Independence Institute in Golden, Colorado, and AssociatePolicy Analyst with the Cato Institute in Washington, D.C. He has also served as an Assistant AttorneyGeneral for the State of Colorado and an Adjunct Professor of Law at New York University School of Law. He received his B.A. with highest honors from Brown University, and his J.D., magna cumlaude, from the University of Michigan Law School. He is the author or co-author of twelve books,including the only law school textbook on firearms law and policy,
Gun Control and Gun Rights
,published by NYU Press. The author would like to thank Nicholas Johnson, Don & Che Kates, HenrySchaffer, and Eugene Volokh for helpful suggestions.
note 76 and accompanying text.