Fla. law to arm teachers advances despite Democrats’ objections


Armed teachers could be on their way to Florida school campuses.

A bill to allow school principals  to designate school employees to carry concealed weapons for security passed the Florida House Judiciary Committee Tuesday to provide what its sponsor called a way to protect children from school violence when police aren’t able to.

“This is not something that’s a foreign concept to the defense of our children,” Rep. Brad Steube, R-Sarasota, told the committee.

Steube cited numerous other states that allow arms on campus, including Democratic bastions such as California and Hawaii.

The bill passed on a party-line vote, with Democrats opposing it after testimony from the Florida School Boards Association, the Florida Association of School Administrators, Florida PTA and other groups.

“This bill sends the wrong message … to our young people,” SBA Executive Director Wayne Blanton said. Allowing authority figures such as coaches, principals and teachers to be armed on school grounds would encourage students to want to be armed themselves, he said.

teachers-with-guns“Coach has a gun, why can’t I have a gun?” he said.

But Steube said it’s just a question of safety. Citing a 2002 study, he said school shootings are usually over within 15 minutes, many under five minutes. That’s too quick for responding police officers to intervene. At the Newtown, Conn., school shooting in December, he said, police officers didn’t arrive for 20 minutes after the carnage began.

“The incident’s going to be over before law enforcement gets there,” he said.

The bill requires any school employees authorized to carry weapons to undergo 40 hours of weapons training – the same as that required for armed security guards – as well as four hours of qualification instruction annually.

“If you’re OK with school resource officers and OK with armed security guards” you’re OK with this, Steube said

Joe Saunders

Joe Saunders, a 25-year newspaper veteran, is a staff writer and editor for BizPac Review who lives in Tallahassee and covers capital and Florida politics. Email Joe at [email protected].

Comments

33 thoughts on “Fla. law to arm teachers advances despite Democrats’ objections

  1. Phillip Kalmbach says:

    Anyone against teachers being armed is for the death of children in schools. Talk about rose colored glasses, every shooting happens in a gun free zone. It is not likely that the teachers will have the guns on them easily taken, but much more likely to have gun safes in their class rooms so that only the teachers can get the gun, that is logical! I know liberal gun grabbers like yourself want to believe that taking away the guns is the answer, then what? Bows, knives, rocks, sticks, pencils, pens, paper? When will it stop? Is it going to be illegal to have a tree because you might be able to get a stick and harm someone? Lets get realistic, and make sure that anybody that tries to harm a child catches a bullet to the head! Just Saying!

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