U.S. Attorney to increase gun-free school zone enforcement

Gun-free school zone enforcement
Gun-free school zone enforcement

NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - As the new school year nears, U.S. Attorney Kenneth A. Polite announces a multi-agency initiative to get illegal guns out of school zones.

Polite says his office will partner with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the NOPD, Orleans Parish Sheriff's Office and Crimestoppers.

The federal gun-free school zone law makes it a crime to unlawfully have a firearm within 1000 feet of any elementary or secondary school.

According to Polite, the participating agencies will increase efforts to investigate and prosecute the federal laws.

In a news release, Polite states, "This is an underutilized federal statute that will assist us in removing illegal firearms from our streets, particularly as we are seeing spikes in violent crime.  It carries a maximum punishment of 5 years in prison, which must be served consecutively to any other term of imprisonment.  We need the public's help in two ways:  report illegal firearms to ATF or Crimestoppers and spread the message that unlawful possession of firearms near our children's schools will lead to federal prison."