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Constitutional Law Keyed to Farber
United States v. Lopez
Citation:514 U.S. 549 (1995)
Alfonso Lopez, a twelfth-grade student, was arrested for carrying a concealed .38 caliber handgun. He was originally charged under Texas law with firearm possession on school premises. The state charges were dismissed after federal agents charged Lopez with violating the federal Gun-Free School Zones Act of 1990, which made it a federal offense for any individual knowingly to possess a firearm at a place that the individual knows, or has reasonable cause to believe, is a school zone. The term “school zone” was defined as “in, or on the grounds of, a public, parochial or private school” or “within a distance of 1,000 feet from the grounds of a public, parochial or private school.” Lopez challenged the authority of Congress to legislate concerning local gun possession.
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