Concealed Carry in Schools

As I sat in my daughter’s middle school gymnasium last night at a choral concert, I was struggling with the fact that, according to the law, concealed carry is prohibited. I was unarmed.

Although the odds are probably astronomical, attacks against schools are a real possibility these days. It’s nighttime, open to the public and no one is legally armed.

As I watch the USCCA videos, the attorney discussing scenarios and consequences makes me fearful of overzealous DAs even in the best of circumstances, let alone in a place like IL and definitely in a case where someone has broken the law but has defended themselves and others to do so. It is my understanding that USCCA coverage in such a circumstance, if a member was to carry into a school yet stop a lethal threat, would void any insurance benefits.

Am I mistaken? Are we just stuck being unarmed in such a situation with no recourse? Is protecting loved ones and oneself worth the risk of prison? Some days I think yes, some days no. I’m not advocating for breaking any laws and I have not done so, just curious about everyone’s thoughtful opinions, thank you.


Hello @Thomas644 and welcome to the family brother. “To be or not to be” (armed) that is the question in William Shakespeare’s play Prince Hamlet. There are a Ask an Attorney videos on the USCCA dashboard that you can watch with Tom Grieve which may be helpful.


There in lies the dilemma, Would we rather have it and not need it or need it and not have it? What do we tell the judge and jury if discovered? I fortunately live in a state where I can carry a concealed firearm into a school, with out disclosing that I’m carrying a firearm to anyone. Sociopaths know this and I hope stay away from our babies and grand babies. Sociopaths also know which schools are gun free zones, is that an invitation to them? I suspect it weighs into their choice of targets.


Welcome to the Community.


Welcome to the community @Thomas644

As you stated these school shootings are incredibly rare events. I suspect that the chances of getting caught carrying in a restricted area are significantly greater. Even if you have perfect concealment skills you are far more likely to have a medical event at the school that could reveal your carry status than you are to run into an active shooter.

Getting caught could result in losing your right to carry permanently and your freedom. Then it would be much harder to defend your family in the many places they are much more likely to face a threat.

Even unarmed we are not defenseless. Situational awareness and improvised weapons may not be ideal but they have stoped many criminals in the past. When I go to my son’s school events I look at what my options are for escaping with my family or stopping the threat and keep my eyes on the crowd.


Great perspective and advice, thank you Shamrock!


Someone once said, “It’s never right to do wrong even in order to get the chance to do right.”

It’s wrong to break the law (now that could open a whole can of worms!). It’s right to protect life (including my own). I’m personally not going to carry anywhere it is illegal in order be better prepared for a low probability event.

I echo @Shamrock 's thoughts.

I judge no one who decides to carry where it’s technically illegal. But I personally don’t come down there.

According to the US Secret Service (if they can be trusted), schools are still one of the safest places for our kids.

More people were killed in Baltimore, Chicago, NYC, St. Louis, and just about every other major American city last year than were shot in all schools nationwide.

@Thomas644 Great, thought provoking question.


I worry more about the trip to and from the school than in the school.


As a member, you are an additional insured on the self defense liability insurance policy the USCCA purchased.

Coverage potentially triggered by any lawful act of self defense not otherwise excluded.

The most relevant exclusion here would seem to be illegal possession of a weapon under federal law.

Violation of a state concealed carry law does not itself exclude coverage.

This may be a bit tricky for schools due to the federal gun free school zone thing, I am not a lawyer, my understanding is there are exceptions possible there for licensed carriers, but it is possible that that exception requires the state to allow it, as in, if the state says it’s illegal, maybe it’s still federally illegal? On that I am not sure.

So, if it’s only the state conceal carry law, again, that itself is not an exclusion


Good point, thanks!

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Understandable, I guess I don’t feel so helpless on those short trips while armed.


Hmmm unarmed going to a school ( drop off, pick up grand kids ) bothered me to no end. If in a school I’m a little better if they have armed personal there. I am unbelievably glad all my kids are out of school but am worried about their children always…


That ^

Pretty sure you’re still more likely to die in a car accident going to and from


Thanks for all of the good comments, it’s very refreshing to find an online community that is thoughtful these days! Glad to be a part of it!


In Nevada you can carry in schools if you have written permission.


In Alabama -IF- you have a CWP (regardless of which state it is issued) you can legally carry a concealed weapon in/on school property.

13A-11-72, Code of Alabama 1975

(e) School security personnel and school resource officers qualified under subsection (a) of Section 16-1-44.1, employed by a local board of education, and authorized by the employing local board of education to carry a deadly weapon while on duty are exempt from subsection (c) of this section. Law enforcement officers are exempt from this section, and persons with pistol permits issued pursuant to Section 13A-11-75, are exempt from subsection (c) of this section.

And here is subsection (c)
(c) Subject to the exceptions provided by Section 13A-11-74, no person shall knowingly with intent to do bodily harm carry or possess a deadly weapon on the premises of a public school.


Is the permission granted by the State Police? That’s who issues permits in IL at least.

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I am finding this for NV

NRS 202.265 3. (a) (3)
“Person having written permission from the president of a branch or facility of the Nevada System of Higher Education or the principal of the school or the person designated by a child care facility to give permission to carry or possess the weapon.”


In alabama it’s the law. LEO has nothing to do with it. We get our permits in alabama from the country sheriff.

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Had a recent concert at our school (to echo the event in the opening post). I was standing in the lobby watching folks come in. I was counting law enforcement officers walking in wearing plain clothes and watching for signs of printing. To the casual observer, no one was armed that night. Since I know several of the LEO’s with kids in the school, we were very well protected that night. Probably more cops at the school that night than there are state police working the entire county. You might be surprised if you knew how many LEO’s were at that concert. I’m not suggesting you trust someone else for your own safety, but just a question that there might be more help there than you realized?

One thought that has been recently brought up in my neck of the woods lately is to coordinate all of these LEO dads (and moms) and have them rotate volunteer duties to cover the school. That idea seems to have wheels.