Ky. Rep. Thomas Massie proposes repeal of federal Gun Free School Zone Act

WASHINGTON – Kentucky Congressman Thomas Massie has introduced a bill that would repeal the Gun Free School Zone Act and allow people to bring guns into schools.

Massie, a Republican representing Kentucky's 4th District and Rep. Steve Stockman (R) of Texas introduced the measure on the first day of the new Congress. On the same day, Democrats unveiled eight bills that designed to enhance the nation's gun regulation policies.

The efforts by both the Republicans and Democrats are seen as responses to the Dec. 14 Sandy Hook Elementary massacre.

According to Massie, the bill, which was originally introduced by Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) in 2007, looks to repeal the Gun Free School Zones Act (GFSZA) of 1990. Massie contends the bill made it "unlawful for any individual knowingly to possess a firearm at a place that the individual knows, or has reasonable cause to believe is a school zone."

According to a press release from Massie's office, the Supreme Court held the GFSZA unconstitutional in 1995, which prompted Congress to amend the bill in 1996. The Supreme Court has not ruled on the constitutionality of the amended Act. 

"Gun free school zones are ineffective. They make people less safe by inviting criminals into target-rich, no-risk environments," Massie wrote in the press release. "Gun free zones prevent law-abiding citizens from protecting themselves, and create vulnerable populations that are targeted by criminals."

Gun control has been a hot issue in Washington due to a recent series of mass shootings that have involved high-powered firearms. Pressure has been mounting from both the right and the left to address the gun-control issue in one way or another.

Representative Massie concluded his press release by writing: "A bigger federal government can't solve this problem. Weapons bans and gun free zones are unconstitutional. They do not and cannot prevent criminals or the mentally ill from committing acts of violence. But they often prevent victims of such violence from protecting themselves."

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