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Concerned with a growing trend toward violence involving students, the U.S. Congress created legislation to address school safety issues: the Gun-Free School Zones Act of 1990 and the Gun-Free Schools Act of 1994. Congress enacted the 1990 act in response to the growing epidemic of weapons at or near schools. The 1990 act, part of Title XVII of the Crime Control Act of 1990, had the support of the National Education Association, the American Association of School Administrators, the National School Boards Association, and the American Academy of Pediatrics. The act, which became effective December 3, 1990, made it illegal to possess knowingly a firearm “in a place that the individual knows, or has reasonable cause to believe, is a school zone.” The law provided ...

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