I just tried explaining the law concerning the possession of weapons on school property in the state of Florida. The teacher in question wants to carry pepper spray in her purse. The laws are confusing, convoluted, and almost impossible to understand, let alone explain or follow. Here is what I had to say:
she can not carry it at the school even with a CWFL or openly. 790.115 2(a)
A person shall not possess any firearm, electric weapon or device,
destructive device, or other weapon as defined in s.
790.001(13), including a razor blade or box cutter, except as authorized
in support of school-sanctioned activities, at a school-sponsored event
or on the property of any school, school bus, or school bus stop. 790.001 (13) “Weapon” means any dirk, knife, metallic knuckles, slungshot, billie, tear gas gun, chemical
weapon or device, or other deadly weapon except a firearm or a common pocketknife, plastic knife, or blunt-bladed table knife. 790.001 (3)
(b) “Tear gas gun” or “chemical weapon or device” means any weapon of
such nature, except a device known as a “self-defense
chemical spray.” “Self-defense chemical spray” means a device carried
solely for purposes of lawful self-defense that is compact in size,
designed to be carried on or about the person, and contains not more
than two ounces of chemical. So
as long as it contains less than 2 oz of chemical it is legal but if it
contains more than that it is a “weapon” and is prohibited
on school property.
definition says “NOT MORE THAN 2 ounces” of chemical. If it has less
than 2 ounces, it is a “chemical weapon or device.” If it contains more
than 2 ounces, it is a “destructive device.”
is where things begin to get a bit muddy. First, look at 790.115(1),
which prohibits the DISPLAY of a weapon in a rude, careless, angry, or
(not in lawful self defense) at a
school-sponsored event or on the grounds or facilities of any school,
school bus, or school bus stop, or within 1,000 feet of the real
property that comprises a public or private elementary school,
middle school, or secondary school, during school hours or during the
time of a sanctioned school activity. This is important, because it
separates school facility and school grounds, proving that the law
considers them to be two different things.
Then you look at paragraph (2), which says:
including a razor blade or box cutter, except as authorized in support of school-sanctioned activities, at a school-sponsored event or on the property of any school, school bus, or school bus stop; however, a person may carry a firearm:
been approved in advance by the principal or chief administrative
officer of the school as a program or class to which firearms could be
that school districts may adopt written and published policies that
waive the exception in this subparagraph for purposes of student and
campus parking privileges.
section, “school” means any preschool, elementary school, middle school,
junior high school, secondary school, career center, or postsecondary
school, whether public or nonpublic.
the person has a concealed weapons permit, then the answer gets a little
different. Paragraph (3)(e) says:
(12)(a) A license issued under this section does not authorize any
person to openly carry a handgun or carry a concealed weapon or firearm
into: (irrelevant parts omitted)
section shall not be prohibited from carrying or storing a firearm in a
vehicle for lawful purposes.
This seems to indicate that a person with a concealed weapons permit may
lawfully possess a concealed weapon on school property, as long as it
is not at a school sponsored athletic event, in a school facility or
building, and, if a firearm, it is kept in a
vehicle. A person may also store weapons in a vehicle in a school
parking lot if the school district permits it, but no district in
Florida has done so. Additionally, since (our school) is
used as a community learning center after hours, it
is not legally a school for the purposes of this law after hours, unless
there is a school sponsored event going on (like a football game).
Even more confusing, a swim meet at the community pool would constitute a
school sponsored sporting event, meaning that anyone at the community
center would also be prohibited from having a weapon, even if they were
not affiliated with the sporting event or
As usual, I am not a lawyer, this is just my opinion, etc.