(1) A person is guilty of unlawful possession of a weapon on school property when he knowingly deposits, possesses, or carries, whether openly or concealed, for purposes other than instructional or school-sanctioned ceremonial purposes, or the purposes permitted in subsection (3) of this section, any firearm or other deadly weapon, destructive device, or booby trap device in any public or private school building or bus, on any public or private school campus, grounds, recreation area, athletic field, or any other property owned, used, or operated by any board of education, school, board of trustees, regents, or directors for the administration of any public or private educational institution. The provisions of this section shall not apply to institutions of postsecondary or higher education.
(2) Each chief administrator of a public or private school shall display about the school in prominent locations, including, but not limited to, sports arenas, gymnasiums, stadiums, and cafeterias, a sign at least six (6) inches high and fourteen (14) inches wide stating:
UNLAWFUL POSSESSION OF A WEAPON ON SCHOOL PROPERTY IN KENTUCKY IS A FELONY PUNISHABLE BY A MAXIMUM OF FIVE (5) YEARS IN PRISON AND A TEN THOUSAND DOLLAR ($10,000) FINE.
Failure to post the sign shall not relieve any person of liability under this section.
(3) The provisions of this section prohibiting the unlawful possession of a weapon on school property shall not apply to:
(a) An adult who is not a pupil of any secondary school and who possesses a firearm, if the firearm is contained within a vehicle operated by the adult and is not removed from the vehicle, except for a purpose permitted herein, or brandished by the adult, or by any other person acting with expressed or implied consent of the adult, while the vehicle is on school property;
(b) Any pupils who are members of the reserve officers training corps or pupils enrolled in a course of instruction or members of a school club or team, to the extent they are required to carry arms or weapons in the discharge of their official class or team duties;
(c) Any peace officer or police officer authorized to carry a concealed weapon pursuant to KRS 527.020 ;
(d) Persons employed by the Armed Forces of the United States or members of the National Guard or militia when required in the discharge of their official duties to carry arms or weapons;
(e) Civil officers of the United States in the discharge of their official duties. Nothing in this section shall be construed as to allow any person to carry a concealed weapon into a public or private elementary or secondary school building;
(f) Any other persons, including, but not limited to, exhibitors of historical displays, who have been authorized to carry a firearm by the board of education or board of trustees of the public or private institution;
(g) A person hunting during the lawful hunting season on lands owned by any public or private educational institution and designated as open to hunting by the board of education or board of trustees of the educational institution;
(h) A person possessing unloaded hunting weapons while traversing the grounds of any public or private educational institution for the purpose of gaining access to public or private lands open to hunting with the intent to hunt on the public or private lands, unless the lands of the educational institution are posted prohibiting the entry; or
(i) A person possessing guns or knives when conducting or attending a “gun and knife show” when the program has been approved by the board of education or board of trustees of the educational institution.
(4) Unlawful possession of a weapon on school property is a Class D felony.
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