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California Penal Code Section 626.9

Legal Research Home > California Laws > Penal Code > California Penal Code Section 626.9

626.9.  (a) This section shall be known, and may be cited, as the
Gun-Free School Zone Act of 1995.
   (b) Any person who possesses a firearm in a place that the person
knows, or reasonably should know, is a school zone, as defined in
paragraph (1) of subdivision (e), unless it is with the written
permission of the school district superintendent, his or her
designee, or equivalent school authority, shall be punished as
specified in subdivision (f).
   (c) Subdivision (b) does not apply to the possession of a firearm
under any of the following circumstances:
   (1) Within a place of residence or place of business or on private
property, if the place of residence, place of business, or private
property is not part of the school grounds and the possession of the
firearm is otherwise lawful.
   (2) When the firearm is an unloaded pistol, revolver, or other
firearm capable of being concealed on the person and is in a locked
container or within the locked trunk of a motor vehicle.
   This section does not prohibit or limit the otherwise lawful
transportation of any other firearm, other than a pistol, revolver,
or other firearm capable of being concealed on the person, in
accordance with state law.
   (3) When the person possessing the firearm reasonably believes
that he or she is in grave danger because of circumstances forming
the basis of a current restraining order issued by a court against
another person or persons who has or have been found to pose a threat
to his or her life or safety. This subdivision may not apply when
the circumstances involve a mutual restraining order issued pursuant
to Division 10 (commencing with Section 6200) of the Family Code
absent a factual finding of a specific threat to the person's life or
safety. Upon a trial for violating subdivision (b), the trier of a
fact shall determine whether the defendant was acting out of a
reasonable belief that he or she was in grave danger.
   (4) When the person is exempt from the prohibition against
carrying a concealed firearm pursuant to Section 25615, 25625, 25630,
or 25645.
   (d) Except as provided in subdivision (b), it shall be unlawful
for any person, with reckless disregard for the safety of another, to
discharge, or attempt to discharge, a firearm in a school zone, as
defined in paragraph (1) of subdivision (e).
   The prohibition contained in this subdivision does not apply to
the discharge of a firearm to the extent that the conditions of
paragraph (1) of subdivision (c) are satisfied.
   (e) As used in this section, the following definitions shall
apply:
   (1) "School zone" means an area in, or on the grounds of, a public
or private school providing instruction in kindergarten or grades 1
to 12, inclusive, or within a distance of 1,000 feet from the grounds
of the public or private school.
   (2) "Firearm" has the same meaning as that term is given in
subdivisions (a) to (d), inclusive, of Section 16520.
   (3) "Locked container" has the same meaning as that term is given
in Section 16850.
   (4) "Concealed firearm" has the same meaning as that term is given
in Sections 25400 and 25610.
   (f) (1) Any person who violates subdivision (b) by possessing a
firearm in, or on the grounds of, a public or private school
providing instruction in kindergarten or grades 1 to 12, inclusive,
shall be punished by imprisonment pursuant to subdivision (h) of
Section 1170 for two, three, or five years.
   (2) Any person who violates subdivision (b) by possessing a
firearm within a distance of 1,000 feet from the grounds of a public
or private school providing instruction in kindergarten or grades 1
to 12, inclusive, shall be punished as follows:
   (A) By imprisonment pursuant to subdivision (h) of Section 1170
for two, three, or five years, if any of the following circumstances
apply:
   (i) If the person previously has been convicted of any felony, or
of any crime made punishable by any provision listed in Section
16580.
   (ii) If the person is within a class of persons prohibited from
possessing or acquiring a firearm pursuant to Chapter 2 (commencing
with Section 29800) or Chapter 3 (commencing with Section 29900) of
Division 9 of Title 4 of Part 6 of this code or Section 8100 or 8103
of the Welfare and Institutions Code.
   (iii) If the firearm is any pistol, revolver, or other firearm
capable of being concealed upon the person and the offense is
punished as a felony pursuant to Section 25400.
   (B) By imprisonment in a county jail for not more than one year or
by imprisonment pursuant to subdivision (h) of Section 1170 for two,
three, or five years, in all cases other than those specified in
subparagraph (A).
   (3) Any person who violates subdivision (d) shall be punished by
imprisonment pursuant to subdivision (h) of Section 1170 for three,
five, or seven years.
   (g) (1) Every person convicted under this section for a
misdemeanor violation of subdivision (b) who has been convicted
previously of a misdemeanor offense enumerated in Section 23515 shall
be punished by imprisonment in a county jail for not less than three
months, or if probation is granted or if the execution or imposition
of sentence is suspended, it shall be a condition thereof that he or
she be imprisoned in a county jail for not less than three months.
   (2) Every person convicted under this section of a felony
violation of subdivision (b) or (d) who has been convicted previously
of a misdemeanor offense enumerated in Section 23515, if probation
is granted or if the execution of sentence is suspended, it shall be
a condition thereof that he or she be imprisoned in a county jail for
not less than three months.
   (3) Every person convicted under this section for a felony
violation of subdivision (b) or (d) who has been convicted previously
of any felony, or of any crime made punishable by any provision
listed in Section 16580, if probation is granted or if the execution
or imposition of sentence is suspended, it shall be a condition
thereof that he or she be imprisoned in a county jail for not less
than three months.
   (4) The court shall apply the three-month minimum sentence
specified in this subdivision, except in unusual cases where the
interests of justice would best be served by granting probation or
suspending the execution or imposition of sentence without the
minimum imprisonment required in this subdivision or by granting
probation or suspending the execution or imposition of sentence with
conditions other than those set forth in this subdivision, in which
case the court shall specify on the record and shall enter on the
minutes the circumstances indicating that the interests of justice
would best be served by this disposition.
   (h) Notwithstanding Section 25605, any person who brings or
possesses a loaded firearm upon the grounds of a campus of, or
buildings owned or operated for student housing, teaching, research,
or administration by, a public or private university or college, that
are contiguous or are clearly marked university property, unless it
is with the written permission of the university or college
president, his or her designee, or equivalent university or college
authority, shall be punished by imprisonment pursuant to subdivision
(h) of Section 1170 for two, three, or four years. Notwithstanding
subdivision (k), a university or college shall post a prominent
notice at primary entrances on noncontiguous property stating that
firearms are prohibited on that property pursuant to this
subdivision.
   (i) Notwithstanding Section 25605, any person who brings or
possesses a firearm upon the grounds of a campus of, or buildings
owned or operated for student housing, teaching, research, or
administration by, a public or private university or college, that
are contiguous or are clearly marked university property, unless it
is with the written permission of the university or college
president, his or her designee, or equivalent university or college
authority, shall be punished by imprisonment pursuant to subdivision
(h) of Section 1170 for one, two, or three years. Notwithstanding
subdivision (k), a university or college shall post a prominent
notice at primary entrances on noncontiguous property stating that
firearms are prohibited on that property pursuant to this
subdivision.
   (j) For purposes of this section, a firearm shall be deemed to be
loaded when there is an unexpended cartridge or shell, consisting of
a case that holds a charge of powder and a bullet or shot, in, or
attached in any manner to, the firearm, including, but not limited
to, in the firing chamber, magazine, or clip thereof attached to the
firearm. A muzzle-loader firearm shall be deemed to be loaded when it
is capped or primed and has a powder charge and ball or shot in the
barrel or cylinder.
   (k) This section does not require that notice be posted regarding
the proscribed conduct.
   (l) This section does not apply to a duly appointed peace officer
as defined in Chapter 4.5 (commencing with Section 830) of Title 3 of
Part 2, a full-time paid peace officer of another state or the
federal government who is carrying out official duties while in
California, any person summoned by any of these officers to assist in
making arrests or preserving the peace while he or she is actually
engaged in assisting the officer, a member of the military forces of
this state or of the United States who is engaged in the performance
of his or her duties, a person holding a valid license to carry the
firearm pursuant to Chapter 4 (commencing with Section 26150) of
Division 5 of Title 4 of Part 6, or an armored vehicle guard, engaged
in the performance of his or her duties, as defined in subdivision
(e) of Section 7521 of the Business and Professions Code.
   (m) This section does not apply to a security guard authorized to
carry a loaded firearm pursuant to Article 4 (commencing with Section
26000) of Chapter 3 of Division 5 of Title 4 of Part 6.
   (n) This section does not apply to an existing shooting range at a
public or private school or university or college campus.
   (o) This section does not apply to an honorably retired peace
officer authorized to carry a concealed or loaded firearm pursuant to
any of the following:
   (1) Article 2 (commencing with Section 25450) of Chapter 2 of
Division 5 of Title 4 of Part 6.
   (2) Section 25650.
   (3) Sections 25900 to 25910, inclusive.
   (4) Section 26020.

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Last modified: March 17, 2014