Florida Bill to Allow Principles to Permit Employees to Carry Concealed Weapons
Principals in Florida may soon be able to designate teachers and other school employees who can carry concealed weapons on campus. The legislation won approval late March from a Florida House committee who agreed that concealed carry holders could make schools safer.
Under the bill, principles would have the option to designate one or more school employees to carry concealed weapons. These employees would be required to complete comprehensive training in addition to the statewide firearms training. These classes are the same training sessions that bank and courthouse security guards complete and are designed to help the designated be prepared for potentially dangerous situations.
Concealed Carry Support
The proposed bill is being supported by many principals and in particular those whose schools are located 30 to 45 minutes away from a law enforcement office. One of the arguments for the bill is that some schools are far away from law enforcement headquarters making response times considerably delayed in the event of a call. In addition to numerous schools being located in rural areas, many schools also don’t have the resources to put a school officer on their campuses making this new legislation a good alternative.
“I want my children safe and in our overwhelming desire to protect our children with gun free zones we have inadvertently made them the ideal sterile target for a madman and the unwillingness of people to confront that reality is unacceptable,” said the bill’s co-sponsor Rep. Dennis Baxley.
If the law passes it would mean that no one other than the designated personal could carry a gun on campus. The designee would be required to carry the weapon on them at all times and the principal could decide whether or not to tell parents the names of the persons with the designation. The principals could also completely opt out of the program altogether and would not be required to have an armed employee within the school.
The Florida School Boards Association and many government officials oppose the bill saying that they need more funding for school officers and have concerns about liability issues. Proponents of the bill argue that there is more liability not to arm school personnel and to continue to put innocent children at risk of school violence. Currently eight other states allow concealed firearms on school campuses.
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