So there are reports that a New Jersey student has been suspended after posting a picture of four rifles, “a gun duffel bag, and ammunition clips, with the caption ‘fun day at the range’ ” after going shooting with his family.
There is absolutely nothing WRONG with going to a gun range. There is nothing WRONG with learning to become a responsible gun owner with your family… and there is nothing WRONG with talking about this on your own personal social media.
You better believe when I have kids… we’ll be teaching them gun safety and how to properly shoot when they’re in High School.
But the school seems to think this is BAAAAD… and two students have received a 5-day suspension for this very thing.
A New Jersey high school is facing backlash from supporters of the Second Amendment.
Lacey Township High School was criticized after two students were allegedly suspended last week over a Snapchat photo that showed them with their families at a gun range, NJ.com reports. The incident has prompted a potential lawsuit from a Second Amendment group opposed to the district’s gun policy.
Amanda Buron, a family friend of one of the students, told NJ.com the picture in question was of four rifles, a gun duffel bag, and ammunition clips, with the caption “fun day at the range.”
A screen capture of the photo eventually made its way to administrators at the school, allegedly resulting in the students receiving a five-day in-school suspension.
Now… the school is saying that this isn’t accurate… but they have not explained WHAT about the claims is wrong.
Lacey schools Superintendent Craig Wigley said in a statement that “information posted on social media is incorrect,” but did not say what information specifically was incorrect.
Wigley declined to comment on a private matter involving students and added, “We are not at will to contradict public opinion on the internet.”
HOWEVER… these allegations did get some looking at the school’s rules… and they found this:
The incident drew public attention to a school district rule that says students may be suspended if “reported to be in possession of a weapon of any type for any reason or purpose on or off school grounds.”
“In possession of a weapon of any type for any reason or purpose on or off school grounds.”
So a student can be suspended for owning a sling shot and never bringing it to school?
More importantly… this is a High School. Many high school students WILL be 18. Many students turn 18 their senior year of High School. Here are New Jersey’s gun ownership rules:
No person under the age of 18 shall purchase, barter or otherwise acquire a firearm, and no person under the age of 21 shall purchase, barter or otherwise acquire a handgun (unless the person is authorized to possess a handgun in connection with the performance of official duties).1 Permits to purchase a handgun will not be issued to any person under age 21, while Firearms Purchaser Identification Cards (FPIC) – for long guns – will not be issued to any person under age 18.2
New Jersey also prohibits any person under the age of 18 from possessing, carrying, firing or using a firearm, and no person under the age of 21 from possessing, carrying, firing or using a handgun.
OK… so in New Jersey an 18 year old is allowed to purchase a firearm. BUT if you do purchase it and keep it locked up at home… you can still get suspended from your school?
The Association of New Jersey Rifle & Pistol Clubs stepped in, sending the district a cease and desist letter threatening a lawsuit unless the rule is removed and the students’ suspension is overturned.
“The policy is clearly wrong and violates the Second Amendment,” ANJRPC executive director Scott Bach argued. “We hope that they’re reasonable people and they will fix it. If they don’t, we’re prepared to take legal action.”
The pro-Second Amendment organization maintained they will proceed with a suit over the policy even if the suspension allegations prove to be untrue.
“Schools do not have the authority to chill the rights of their students off of school grounds, and this blatant infringement of constitutional rights will not be tolerated,” Bach said. “I don’t care if no students were disciplined. The policy has got to go.”
And this in not the first time the school has come under fire for a gun-rights related incident:
Ed Cardinal, whose son also attends the Lacey Township High School, told NJ.com that faculty ordered his son to remove a sticker of a gun that was on the teenager’s pickup truck.
“He was kind of heated about it and so was I,” he recalled. Cardinal said he and his son complied with the demand under threat of disciplinary action.
Stickers don’t kill people.