Eighth-graders learn that cops can seize guns for no reason
An eighth-grade history teacher in rural Campobello, S.C. allegedly gave a pop quiz on the Constitution this week that left the parents of one quiz taker highly irate.
Specifically, the parents took issue with a quiz question involving gun rights, reports journalist Ben Swann at Benswann.com. They say the unnamed teacher erroneously marked their daughter’s answer wrong.
The question was a hypothetical scenario:
“Mr. Jones’ gun was confiscated at a police traffic stop, even though he had the proper permit and license of ownership of the gun.”
The first sub-part to the question asked: “Is this situation Constitutional?” The second and third sub-parts ask students to identify the amendment at issue and state the relevant text.
The student indicated that the situation as described is not constitutional. The teacher allegedly marked this answer wrong, scribbling out the word “no” and writing “yes.”
The also student wrote that the amendment at issue is the Fourth Amendment, which protects Americans from unreasonable searches and seizures. That, too, was scribbled out and changed to the Second Amendment.
(The girl’s answer for the third part is not visible.)
The National Rifle Association’s Institute for Legal Action notes that people generally don’t need a permit to buy or own a rifle, shotgun or handgun in South Carolina.
Assuming the gun at issue is a handgun and not, say, a hunting rifle, Section 16-23-20 of the South Carolina Code of Laws forbids people from carrying handguns. However, the law then provides 16 broad exceptions to this prohibition. Among those exceptions are (9) carrying the handgun in a closed compartment in a vehicle and (15) transferring a handgun between two places where handguns are legal.
Perhaps the teacher is a New Mexico transplant. As Reason.com notes, the Land of Enchantment’s state supreme court ruled in 2011 that the safety of police officers trumps the constitutional rights of gun owners in cars.
New Mexico state law has very little influence in South Carolina.
Across the country, a number of teachers and school districts have been giving strangely ambiguous information about the civil right that is gun ownership.
At Guyer High School in Denton, Texas, for instance, an Advanced Placement U.S. History textbook watered down the Second Amendment this way: “The people have a right to keep and bear arms in a state militia.” (RELATED: This high school is teaching kids a different version of the Second Amendment)
The full text of the Second Amendment to the Constitution of the United States reads: “A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.”
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Update: An earlier version of this report wrongly asserted that the Fourth Amendment answer was incorrect.