Guns on School Property: Consequences and the Law

The U.S. has dealt with several school shootings over the past few months, and this has placed a renewed emphasis on gun control laws. For example, Maryland passed a new gun control bill on March 1, 2013. Although this particular bill does not mention schools, it is widely believed to be at least partially a reaction to the shooting that happened at an elementary school in Newton, Connecticut. Maryland’s new gun control laws are among the strictest in the state, and failure to follow these laws could cause an individual to face severe penalties.

What Happens if I Bring a Gun to School?

Even the most permissive states typically do not permit guns of any kind to be carried on a school campus. This includes everything from preschool to college, and the only exceptions are made for guards. In fact, at some schools, even the guards are not allowed to carry a gun, so they use a stun gun instead.

Regardless of your age or the type of school that you attend, the odds are high that you will be immediately expelled if you bring a gun on campus. In addition to which, it is also likely that you will be arrested. In Maryland, any violation of the firearms law will carry a fine of up to $2,500, and the guilty party will also serve a minimum of 30 days in jail. Although it is difficult to know for certain how these guidelines would be applied to a young child, it is virtually guaranteed that a teenager would be hit hard by the legal system. These and other facts about Maryland laws can be found at

Should Schools Ban Fake Guns?

Because of all of the recent shootings, most school districts have become hyper vigilant about guns. Not only are guns themselves banned, but any type of play that involves imaginary guns is also no longer permitted. Recently, a seven-year-old boy from Baltimore was suspended for allegedly eating a Pop-Tart into the shape of a gun. Some people believe that this is taking things too far, and it is hard to disagree with that point of view. After all, young children have always incorporated fake guns into their playtime, and the vast majority of them will never even end up shooting a real gun at any point during their life.

Educators need to address the issue of stifling the imagination of schoolchildren. For example, a so-called Pop-Tart gun is not actually a risk to anyone, and the pastry did not even look like a gun. If we continue down this path, the true issue of actual school violence will get buried in ridiculous rules that penalize good students.

Dealing with a School Shooting

Regardless of an individual’s age, it is difficult to deal with being involved in a school shooting. Therefore, if this happens to you or your child, you should definitely consider consulting with a therapist. One of the things that previous school shooting victims have stated years later to the media is that they never completely got over the trauma of the incident.

If you are arrested on school property with a gun, it will be imperative for you to contact a criminal defense attorney immediately. After all, the odds are high that your name and picture will be plastered all over the news, and it will take a skilled lawyer to help you avoid dealing with extended jail time. You should also seek the assistance of an attorney if your child is caught with a gun. Even if they are only five-years-old, the odds are high that the legal system will attempt to punish them in some way.

Author Anthony Joseph enjoys discussing current topics about the legal system, and contributes this article to help support gun safety awareness. Colleen Kirby of was once a prosecutor and member of the Maryland State Bar Association. She handles every case with the skill and dedication necessary to produce a positive outcome.

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