HB136: School; definition thereof for purposes of prohibiting weapons on school grounds.

HOUSE BILL NO. 136
Offered January 9, 2008
Prefiled December 20, 2007
A BILL to amend and reenact § 18.2-308.1 of the Code of Virginia, relating to possession of firearm, stun weapon, or other weapon on school property; definition of school.
Patron-- Peace

Committee Referral Pending

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of Virginia:

1.  That § 18.2-308.1 of the Code of Virginia is amended and reenacted as follows:

§ 18.2-308.1. Possession of firearm, stun weapon, or other weapon on school property prohibited.

A. If any person possesses any (i) stun weapon as defined in this section; (ii) knife, except a pocket knife having a folding metal blade of less than three inches; or (iii) weapon, including a weapon of like kind, designated in subsection A of § 18.2-308, other than a firearm; upon (a) the property of any public school that offers instruction from kindergarten through grade 12 operated under the authority of any locality within the Commonwealth or any private or religious school that offers instruction at any level or grade from kindergarten through grade 12, private or religious elementary, middle or high school, including buildings and grounds; (b) that portion of any property open to the public and then exclusively used for school-sponsored functions or extracurricular activities while such functions or activities are taking place; or (c) any school bus owned or operated by any such school, he shall be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor.

B. If any person possesses any firearm designed or intended to expel a projectile by action of an explosion of a combustible material while such person is upon (i) any public school that offers instruction from kindergarten through grade 12 operated under the authority of any locality within the Commonwealth; (ii) any private or religious school that offers instruction at any level or grade from kindergarten through grade 12, private or religious elementary, middle or high school, including buildings and grounds; (ii) (iii) that portion of any property open to the public and then exclusively used for school-sponsored functions or extracurricular activities while such functions or activities are taking place; or (iii) (iv) any school bus owned or operated by any such school, he shall be guilty of a Class 6 felony; however, if the person possesses any firearm within a such public, private or religious elementary, middle or high school building and intends to use, or attempts to use, such firearm, or displays such weapon in a threatening manner, such person shall be sentenced to a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of five years to be served consecutively with any other sentence.

The exemptions set out in § 18.2-308 shall apply, mutatis mutandis, to the provisions of this section. The provisions of this section shall not apply to (i) persons who possess such weapon or weapons as a part of the school's curriculum or activities; (ii) a person possessing a knife customarily used for food preparation or service and using it for such purpose; (iii) persons who possess such weapon or weapons as a part of any program sponsored or facilitated by either the school or any organization authorized by the school to conduct its programs either on or off the school premises; (iv) any law-enforcement officer; (v) any person who possesses a knife or blade which he uses customarily in his trade; (vi) a person who possesses an unloaded firearm that is in a closed container, or a knife having a metal blade, in or upon a motor vehicle, or an unloaded shotgun or rifle in a firearms rack in or upon a motor vehicle; or (vii) a person who has a valid concealed handgun permit and possesses a concealed handgun while in a motor vehicle in a parking lot, traffic circle, or other means of vehicular ingress or egress to the school. For the purposes of this paragraph, "weapon" includes a knife having a metal blade of three inches or longer and "closed container" includes a locked vehicle trunk.

As used in this section:

"Stun weapon" means any device that emits a momentary or pulsed output, which is electrical, audible, optical or electromagnetic in nature and which is designed to temporarily incapacitate a person.

2. That the provisions of this act may result in a net increase in periods of imprisonment or commitment.  Pursuant to § 30-19.1:4, the estimated amount of the necessary appropriation cannot be determined for periods of imprisonment in state adult correctional facilities and is $0 for periods of commitment to the custody of the Department of Juvenile Justice.