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In Pennsylvania, it is illegal to possess a weapon on school grounds. There are broad exceptions. From 18 Pa.C.S. 912(c):

(c) Defense.–It shall be a defense that the weapon is possessed and used in conjunction with a lawful supervised school activity or course or is possessed for other lawful purpose.

The words are clear. The meaning is plain. As a father, Andrew Goslin brought a pocketknife to school and showed it to school administrators to demonstrate the silliness of their no pocketknives policy.

The police were called, Goslin was arrested. The case went all the way to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court (called the Superior Court in Pennsylvania).

On 16 February, 2017, the Superior Court of Pennsylvania correctly decided to uphold the plain language of the law. From Commonwealth v. Goslin (pdf):

We conclude that the language of Section 912(c), though broad, is unambiguous, and that Appellant possessed his pocketknife on school grounds for “other lawful purpose.” Therefore, we vacate Appellant’s Judgment of Sentence and order a new trial.4

It did not take long for another law abiding citizen to be saved from the clutches of overzealous bureaucrats: From delcotimes.com:

Jordan was charged with a single count of possessing a weapon on school property. That charge was withdrawn Friday, however, due to new guidance from the Pennsylvania Superior Court in another case, Commonwealth v. Goslin.

That opinion, filed Feb. 26, stated that carpenter Andrew Goslin brought a work knife with him to a meeting at an elementary school. He was found guilty of possessing a weapon on school property during a bench trial, but appealed the verdict.

The statute provides that “it shall be a defense that the weapon is possessed and used in conjunction with a lawful supervised school activity or course or is possessed for other lawful purpose,” according to the opinion.

Goslin argued on appeal that the trial court misread the statute to require that the “other lawful purpose” must be related to the reason that the possessor is on school property. The Superior Court agreed and vacated the conviction.


Pennsylvania Allows Guns and Knives in Schools for Lawful Purposes

In Pennsylvania, it is illegal to possess a weapon on school grounds. There are broad exceptions to that ridiculous rule, however.

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