Growing up, did your school allow guns?

A coworker told me that if a student had approval from the principal, they were allowed to bring a gun from home to school. The gun was kept in the principals office and it was for students who would be going hunting either before or after school. They could also bring them on the school bus. Notice though they had to have approval by the principal so the student would have had to have earned that trust first.

Other schools commonly had rifle teams and gun ranges and students were either allowed to shoot the schools guns or bring them from home. Yes, many kids would strap a rifle onto their bike frame and go to school.

Now the closest I ever saw this was one school I worked at in the 90’s still had a rifle team and range with its ROTC program and when I went to school in a rural area some kids still drove trucks which had gun racks.

Also when I was growing up most kids carried a pocket knife.

So, when you were growing up,

  1. Were guns allowed in school?
  2. Did your school have a rifle team?
  3. If so what were the rules regarding how the gun and ammunition were kept?
  4. What part of the country was this?

1-2. No, of course not. 3. N/A 4. New England, early to mid-90s.

A friend was allowed to bring in a flintlock for a history speech or something.

At college you could keep a gun in your car or if no car then with Campus Police.


Guns were OK, but had to be left in your car.

I posted about this in this thread. Quoted below:

Definitely not permitted in the city (ca 70k pop) where I went to junior high and high school. When I was younger I lived in a town of around 4500 people; no idea what the rules were for high school there.

My high school had a rifle team coached by one of the Army JROTC instructors - still does, in fact. It was consistently the school team with the highest win/loss ratio, though the ball sports and wrestling got all the glory.

Only the school’s weapons were permitted; they and the ammunition were (and are) kept locked up in the ROTC offices.

Northeastern Illinois, late '60s/early '70s.

In high school (small town, Western New York, 1983-87) I knew lots of kids and teachers who went hunting directly after school. I’m not entirely sure where they left their guns, but I suppose in their cars.

Never. Eastern LI.

Not in the school, but okay to leave them in your vehicle. Most guys had a rifle or shotgun on a rack in the back window of their trucks. Very common. No one ever got shot in the four years I was in high school. No one was ever threatened by another student with a gun while I was in high school.

Besides having shooting teams, we were allowed to hunt on our way to and from school during season. Guns and bows were OK but had to be checked in with the gym teacher; they, and the ammo, were kept in the locked “equipment cage” in the locker rooms. Knives we could keep in our personal lockers and almost everyone had some sort of pocket knife on them.

Rural north-eastern PA 60s and 70s.

Once I moved to the southwest and a more suburban area it was still allowed but they had to be kept in your car. One school had a rifle team, the other did not. Pocket knives were still common but not as universal as where I grew up. I always had a Buck 110 on my belt and no-one ever questioned it.

Pitt - mid 70s - we had a rifle team and I often carried mine cased on the bus. I usually stashed it with the coach in the ROTC department but I sometimes hauled it from class to class with me.

God no, and I live in the South.

I fired a rifle in school one time. We were doing a play where one character shoots another. The person on stage had a fake handgun, I fired a .22 blank from my rifle offstage. All with approval of teachers and administrators. Other than that I think you had to keep your guns in the car/truck. Rural southern Iowa 1970’s.

No, no, N/A, and northern Virginia.

Not in the school. Guns in the cars were fine, we often went hunting after school. Oregon, mid '70s.

Even today there are occasions when it is allowed. The auctioning of guns is a popular event at the annual scholarship foundation dinner which is held in the gymnasium, with our state senator present.

No. But then, getting a hunting license, and a license for a hunting weapon, in this country is insanely difficult, and definitely impossible for anyone under 18.

They did take us on a field trip to an army gun range in our senior year, where we plinked targets with WW2-era Mausers re-chambered to 0.22". First time I ever fired a weapon.

I had a lot of schools (Air Force brat), but I can cite at least one school in which I can answer:

  1. Yes, either checked in at the office or in the car. (This was a junior high school, but it was ranching country so a lot of the 14-year-olds were already driving their own pickups everywhere they needed.)
  2. No; not much military presence. Frankly, we base kids were heartily disliked, although the school district loved the federal money.
  3. Dunno. Probably something “common-sense” (i.e., whatever the principal let you get away with, and more if the principal liked you. It was that kind of community.)
  4. Eastern Montana, mid 1970s. Kind of place that probably sprouts Freemen and Sovereign Citizens and militias and the like nowadays.
  1. Were guns allowed in school?

No (the UK has strict gun control.)

  1. Did your school have a rifle team?


  1. If so what were the rules regarding how the gun and ammunition were kept?

The School Marshal (as it happens, a former member of the SAS) kept all rifles and ammunition securely locked.

  1. What part of the country was this?


Guns were never allowed in any school I went to.

That was in Pennsylvania, Montreal, and Los Angeles.

This^. I was raised in semi-rural Georgia. I also carried a pocket knife as far back as 3rd grade. That, too, was pretty common.

Never permitted inside the school.

Several students (and teachers for that matter) routinely kept hunting rifles in their truck though. Nobody ever commented on that to my knowledge.

Also essentially every male over the age of 10 or so carried a pocket knife. They’re so ubiquitous that when the TSA started forbidding them on planes, the local airport had to come up with a pocket knife check system - like a coat check, but for pocket knives.

Rural Alaska in the 80’s and 90’s.

Ditto. There were many times in the fall that my friends and I all had shotguns or rifles in our cars to go hunting after school. We never took the guns into school, but they were in our cars on school property. And we never gave it much thought. This was in the late 70s, before zero-tolerance, nannyism took over.