A private school is seeking to ban the sale of guns near its campus in Manheim Township.
But Lancaster Country Day School also wants to go a step or two further.
It has asked the township to ban pictures and drawings of guns that advertise or “promote the use or sale of firearms.”
Country Day officials said the ban would provide peace of mind to students during a time of heightened anxiety over school shootings.
“For students to function at their best, it’s critical that students feel comfortable and safe,” Lancaster Country Day Assistant Head of School Todd Trout said.
The school is seeking to create a “gun-shop-free school zone,” a 1,000-foot buffer around not only its own campus near President Avenue and Harrisburg Pike but all other schools in the suburb, as well.
The proposed ban on gun images, though, raised concern earlier this summer from a township attorney, who suggested it would be a violation of the U.S. Constitution’s First Amendment guarantee to freedom of speech, according to the minutes of a public meeting on the issue.
The township’s board of commissioners will consider the proposals at a meeting Monday night. Attempts to reach several members of the board on Friday were unsuccessful.
In the school’s proposal, attorney Joshua Cohen cited the former Gun Gallery shop at Dillerville Road and Harrisburg Pike, near the campus. The shop had a “large and ominous” sign, he wrote, that was “unavoidable to most students traveling to and from school every morning and every afternoon. It was a constant reminder of the life-threatening risks that these students might face every day despite the best efforts of the school administrators to create a safe and secure environment.”
Cohen acknowledges in the proposal that Country Day is “under no delusion that the proposed ordinances will eliminate the risk of gun violence.” But he adds that “it is well known that students do not learn as well when they do not feel safe.”
A Franklin & Marshall College spokesman said the college supports the proposed ordinances. A Manheim Township School District spokeswoman said the district received information on the proposals earlier this week and board members had not yet reviewed it.