If you’re someone who carries concealed, a trip to your kids’ school may take on a special level of suck in your life depending on where you live. In many locations, it’s illegal to even have a firearm in your vehicle on school property, which means it’s impossible to just swing by while running other errands while armed. That means you need to make a special trip home, drop off your firearm, then go to the school, do whatever you need to do. If you have other things to do after that, then it means another trip home to arm yourself, then back out to finish your business.
It’s a pain.
In Maine, they’re considering a bill that will ease the pain a bit.
For the second year in a row, and one day after a deadly shooting at a Kentucky high school, Maine lawmakers will consider a bill that would allow people picking up or dropping off students at schools to have unloaded guns in the car.
A public hearing on the bill will be held at 1 p.m. Wednesday before the Legislature’s Education and Cultural Affairs Committee.
Federal law largely prohibits guns on K-12 campuses, but there are exceptions. The law doesn’t apply to people licensed by the state to possess a gun, such as those with concealed carry permits. It also allows for guns that are unloaded or in a locked container or rack.
The proposed bill, L.D. 1761, would allow guns to be inside a car if the person possessing the gun is dropping off or picking up a student and remains in the vehicle. The gun must also be unloaded and in a locked container or rack.
A similar bill was rejected last year. That bill would have allowed guns in cars at child pickup or drop-off areas at K-12 schools. Even after supporters offered an amendment to require that firearms be unloaded and in a locked box or gun rack, it failed 9-4 in committee.
Don’t get me wrong; this is still all kinds of stupid. An unloaded firearm is a glorified club, and an inefficient club at that. Requiring a firearm be unloaded and locked away basically means you’re just as disarmed as if you never had the gun in the first place, but it does eliminate the need for special trips just to disarm.
However, it would behoove the lawmakers in Maine to consider the fact that people who are lawfully carrying a firearm in the first place are the very people who are highly unlikely to be a threat to students or faculty. The people you have to worry about are the very same people who are already carrying guns contrary to countless laws. They won’t be locking their guns up or getting permits or anything of the sort either.
Rejecting bills like this doesn’t combat gun crime. They simply hurt the law-abiding, the very people who would step up and fight an armed attacker at their kids’ school.
Failure to allow them to be armed doesn’t make anyone safer. It just lets anti-gun politicians pretend they’re doing something other than risking innocent lives.