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Open Letter from John Tate to Senate Judiciary Committee

February 12, 2013 in Uncategorized

By Megan Stiles

United States Senate

Committee on the Judiciary

Subcommittee on the Constitution,

Civil Rights, and Human Rights

224 Dirksen Senate Office Building

Washington, DC 20510

Dear Chairman Durbin and Ranking Member Cruz:

Thank you for holding this hearing on “Proposals to Reduce Gun Violence: Protecting Our Communities While Respecting the Second Amendment.”  On behalf of over half a million members of Campaign for Liberty, I appreciate the opportunity to address this issue.

In the wake of December’s tragic loss of life at Sandy Hook Elementary School, many Americans have called for new federal laws to prevent further incidents of gun violence.  Unfortunately, most of the proposals currently before Congress not only violate the Second Amendment, as well as other parts of the United States Constitution, but they would fail to prevent future mass shootings.

Today, I want to recommend that Congress adopt a policy that would meet the constitutional test and prove effective in protecting schoolchildren from gun violence: full repeal of the 1990 Gun Free School Zones Act and all amendments to it.

Under the Gun Free School Zones Act, it is a federal crime for an individual to have a firearm either in a school or within 1,000 feet of a school.  While the legislation does allow for lawful holders of concealed carry permits to possess firearms within a Gun Free School Zone, it makes it a federal crime for anyone other than an on-duty law enforcement officer or school security personnel to discharge a firearm on school premises.  As a practical matter, this means that most schools, except for those that can afford to hire professional, full-time security personnel, are left defenseless.

The supporters of the law claimed it would guard school children from gun violence.  However, in passing this law, Congress overlooked a crucial fact: mass murderers do not obey “gun-free zone” laws.

In fact, disarming school personnel, except those few specifically designated as “school security,” can encourage deranged and violent individuals to specifically target schools.  After all, what better way to ensure one will inflict maximum damage than to target a location where carrying a firearm is a federal crime?

Even if repeal of the Gun Free School Zones Act does not discourage all school shootings, it will still save lives by giving school personnel the ability to defend themselves and the children in their care.

Currently, federal law forces school personnel whose schools do not have full-time security staff to wait helplessly during a crisis …read more

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