Public Laws

124th Legislature

Second Regular Session



Chapter 614

H.P. 1206 - L.D. 1705

An Act To Align the Duties of School Boards Concerning Student Safety with the Requirements of the Federal Gun-Free Schools Act and To Prohibit the Discharge of Firearms within 500 Feet of Public and Private School Properties

Be it enacted by the People of the State of Maine as follows:

Sec. 1. 20-A MRSA §1001, sub-§9-A,  as enacted by PL 1995, c. 322, §5, is amended to read:

9-A. Students expelled or suspended under the requirements of the federal Gun-Free Schools Act.   The school boards shall adopt a policy for expelling a student who is determined to have brought a firearm, as defined in 18 United States Code, Section 921, to school or to have possessed a firearm at school and for referring the matter to the appropriate local law enforcement agency.
A.  A student who is determined to have brought a firearm to school or to have possessed a firearm at school under this subsection must be expelled from school for a period of not less than one year, except that the school board may authorize the superintendent to modify the requirement for expulsion of a student on a case-by-case basis. A decision to change the placement of a student with a disability must be made in accordance with the federal Individuals With Disabilities Education Act, 20 United States Code, Section 1400 et seq.
B.  Nothing in this subsection prevents a school board from:

(1) Offering instructional activities related to firearms or from allowing a firearm to be brought to school for instructional activities sanctioned by the district school board and for which the school board has adopted appropriate safeguards to ensure student safety; or

(2) Providing educational services in an alternative setting to a student who has been expelled.

C.  In accordance with the proper investigation and due process provisions required in subsection 9, a principal may suspend immediately for good cause a student who is determined to have brought a firearm to school or to have possessed a firearm at school under this subsection.

Sec. 2. 20-A MRSA §6552, sub-§1,  as amended by PL 2007, c. 67, §1, is further amended to read:

1. Prohibition.   A person may not possess a firearm on public school property or the property of an approved private school or discharge a firearm within 500 feet of public school property or the property of an approved private school. For purposes of this subsection, public school property includes property of a community college that adopts a policy imposing such a prohibition.

Sec. 3. 20-A MRSA §6552, sub-§2,  as enacted by PL 1981, c. 693, §§5 and 8, is repealed and the following enacted in its place:

2 Exceptions.   The provisions under subsection 1 do not apply to the following.
A The prohibition on the possession and discharge of a firearm does not apply to law enforcement officials.
B The prohibition on the possession of a firearm does not apply to the following persons, if the possession is authorized by a written policy adopted by the school board:

(1) A person who possesses an unloaded firearm for use in a supervised educational program approved and authorized by the school board and for which the school board has adopted appropriate safeguards to ensure student safety; and

(2) A person who possesses an unloaded firearm that is stored inside a locked vehicle in a closed container, a zipped case or a locked firearms rack while the person is attending a hunter's breakfast or similar event that:

(a) Is held during an open firearm season established under Title 12, Part 13 for any species of wild bird or wild animal;

(b) Takes place outside of regular school hours; and

(c) Is authorized by the school board.

C The prohibition on possession and discharge of a firearm does not apply to a person possessing a firearm at a school-operated gun range or a person discharging a firearm as part of a school-sanctioned program at a school-operated gun range if the gun range and the program are authorized by a written policy adopted by the school's governing body.

Effective July 12, 2010

Office of the Revisor of Statutes
State House, Room 108
Augusta, ME 04333