California Assemblymember Tim Donnelly (R-Twin Peaks) has introduced legislation to allow school districts to participate in a new school marshals program. This measure is one of nearly a dozen that have been introduced in the State Legislature in response to the outbreak of mass shootings this past year. Tweet
Donnelly seeks to expand the 1995 Gun Free Zone Act, a law that allows teachers to carry concealed weapons if their school district allows it. Assembly Bill 202, or the School Marshal Plan, will provide educators training in the use of firearms.
"In 1995, they obviously felt it was important to not deny that right to teachers who feel that need," Donnelly said. "AB 202 just reiterates existing law." Tweet quote: Tweet
AB 202 would also create a provision for school districts to pay for the weapons of qualified employees. The bill would further exempt these employees from the concealed-weapons-permit portion of California's Open Records Act.
As stated in a previous IVN article, most of the proposed gun legislation currently deals with limits on ammunition and guns. Donnelly's bill follows similar recommendations made by the NRA last month. However, in a Democratically-controlled Legislature, it is unlikely that this legislation will affect gun control in the state.
Citing the Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings at a press conference on Wednesday, Donnelly felt that lives could have been saved if someone had the ability to shoot back at the gunman.
“Your child is going to be locked in a school, and the only one with a gun is the person who came there to kill more kids than got killed in the last tragedy so he can get his name on television and go down in history in his own mind,” Donnelly said.
Legislation similar to AB 202 has already been rebuffed by Newtown Superintendent of Schools, Janet Robinson:
"I come from a military family. My dad was career military. My husband was a Navy pilot. We don't keep guns. You know, I have great respect for guns. It takes a great deal of training for a police officer to shoot a weapon in action. Teachers are teachers, and if you think about elementary teachers, elementary teachers just love kids. They're not gonna go packing and sit on the floor on the rug and read to the kids with a gun at their hip." Tweet quote: Tweet
Some may argue that ammunition regulation will not end gun violence, but it is a step in the right direction for gun control measures. Perhaps arming teachers could help prevent a violent act, but many teachers and students could be uncomfortable with the idea of having firearms in the classroom