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Arizona official says guns are allowed at private schools

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Arizona’s attorney general says the state’s private elementary, middle and high schools can allow guns on campus.

State and federal laws don’t prevent someone with an Arizona concealed-carry permit from carrying a concealed gun on private school grounds, according to a recent opinion released by the Arizona Attorney General’s Office.

Attorney General Mark Brnovich also wrote that the law doesn’t prevent schools form having guns secured on campus for use by trained employees who are not police officers, reported The Arizona Republic (http://bit.ly/2bOXknL).

State Sen. Steve Yarbrough, a Chandler Republican, asked for the legal opinion several months ago.

“I work with a lot of private schools and several of them had inquired as to what they could to do to make their campuses safer,” Yarbrough told The Arizona Republic. “They inquired about what kind of personnel they could have on campus, and what kind of circumstances they could store firearms on campus.”

Brnovich’s written opinion says that the Federal Gun Free School Zones Act makes it a crime to knowingly possess a gun on private school grounds, but it doesn’t apply if the individual is licensed by the state. A 2010 state law allowed concealed weapons carry in Arizona without a permit, but the state still offers the permits.

Brnovich also wrote that the there is an exception if the person is carrying the gun as part of a school-approved program.

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