If you want to stir up controversy, bring up the issue of guns in schools. Rep. Dwight Kiefert (R – District 24) has done just that by submitting House Bill 1310. With the passage of this bill, local school districts would be empowered to set their own policy of whether they would allow an individual with a Class 1 Concealed Carry permit to carry concealed in their schools.
While I personally do not believe the bill goes far enough, it is a major step in the right direction. First, it would empower the local school boards in the decision-making process. That is a positive. Second, those local school boards that would choose to allow concealed carry will be taking a step towards making their schools safer. That’s a positive.
As the bill is written, local school boards would identify specific individuals (including teachers) with a Class 1 Concealed Carry Permit to carry concealed in their schools… with a catch. Those individuals would have to complete a 40 hour first armed responder course with local law enforcement. These courses are specifically designed to prepare individuals to deal with school emergencies, lockdowns, and active killer events. Once certified, those individuals would have to retain their certification through a 10 hour annual training and re-certification course.
Aside from the first armed responder course requirement, the decision-making process of local school boards must be done in an executive session to guard confidentiality of the individual(s) they are considering. Once an individual is identified and approved to carry concealed in the school district, the school board is then required to notify local law enforcement in writing who that individual is and that notification becomes a confidential record. In essence, should local school boards approve of such a policy, bad guys would have no idea who was carrying concealed in the school. They would only know they face the potential of retaliation should they seek to harm anyone. That is a positive.
One of the worst things that has been done to ensure our children are less safe is to create “gun-free zones”. As evidenced by shootings such as Sandy Hook and Columbine, children become sitting ducks for those who wish to do them harm in our schools. Rep. Kiefert deserves a lot of credit for his willingness to step forward and propose such a bill. Hopefully common sense and local control will prevail.
The hearing on HB1310 has been scheduled for Friday, January 27th at 9am in the House Energy and Natural Resources Committee. Please contact the committee and encourage them to give this a Do Pass recommendation. Then contact your legislators and ask them to support the bill when it comes up for a vote. Here is the link to the House Energy and Natural Resources Committee: