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Ask a Cop: I’m legally armed and living next to a school — is that ok?

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Q: I have a concealed carry permit and live within 1,000 feet of a school. Do I have any special restrictions other concealed carry holders may not have? — Brad

A: “Brad, that’s a great question. We do have gun-free school zones that will extend 1,000 feet beyond the property of the school and the question you’re asking is if you live within that 1,000 feet, but you have a concealed carry permit, are you in violation? First of all, a concealed carry permit on your property, you can do what you wish to do on your private property, so even if it’s within a 1,000 feet of a school zone your private property is exempt and you can have your concealed carry permit or carry a gun on your own property. If you’re leaving that property, going on the street and driving away, again, we’d try to deal with that in a reasonable way. Even if it’s within 1,000 feet, generally speaking, if you’re not actually involved with something to do with the school it shouldn’t be a problem. Where it does become a problem is once you get onto actual school property. If a school property is marked as a gun-free zone you cannot carry a firearm on that, so make sure, particularly in a building that if you have concealed carry permit you don’t enter if it’s marked, because that can be a violation. Firearms laws overlap a lot and can be kind of complex. If you ever have specific questions that are specific to a certain scenario we encourage you to call your local police department, or access the ATF website.— Bremerton Police Chief Steve Strachan