Oklahoma lawmakers move bill forward to expand access to carry guns on school campuses

Posted at 4:58 PM, Feb 28, 2018
and last updated 2018-03-01 17:32:22-05

OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. -- House Bill 3192 moved out of committee with a 10 to 5 vote, and now goes to the house floor.

Currently school boards can designate employees and train them to carry a gun. This bill would allow districts to create their own requirements, rather than the current standard of more than 100 hours of training.

Representative Jeff Coody said he authored this bill to expand safety measures.

"We have a lot of schools that have no law enforcement. The county sheriff may be 30 or 40 minutes away. And they have no possible mechanism to respond to an active shooter," Coody said.

The lawmaker said he wrote this with his three children in mind, all currently attending rural public schools.

"Each school can put up signage. Oftentimes that's all it takes. Just to let a criminal or someone mentally imbalanced who means harm to people... to give them pause," Coody said.

Representative Jacob Rosecrants is a former teacher. He said after working with middle schoolers in the south side of Oklahoma City, there are safety concerns with more guns on campus.

"I could just see the games they would try to play to keep a teacher separated from their gun. I could see that. Plus the attitudes of teachers. You've got some hard core teachers, you've got some real relaxed teachers. They could show off their gun, something bad might happen. These are actual things that could happen," Rosecrants said.

Rosecrants suggests other solutions, such as metal detectors or checking backpacks.

"Maybe don't put windows in your doors, maybe steel doors. I know that's creepy and weird but that's one thing you can do if we were to properly fund our schools. Right now we're at 2009 levels of funding. We can't keep teachers here in Oklahoma right now," he said.

Right now for school staff to have a gun on campus they need to have armed security training. Under this bill, the minimum requirement for a district to put in place is a carrying license.

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