A bill that would allow public school teachers or administrators who successfullycomplete a basic police course academy for reserve deputies to bring loaded handguns to school passed a legislative committee Wednesday.
It is the first Oklahoma school security measure advanced by lawmakers since the Sandy Hook massacre in December. Twenty children, ages 6 and 7, were shot and killed by a disturbed man in Newtown, Conn. Six adults also were killed.
Under House Bill 1062, local school boards would decide whether to allow trained teachers and administrators to be armed in their schools. Teachers and administrators would have to go through a six-week reserve officer training, through the Council on Law Enforcement Education and Training, to be permitted to carry firearms on school campuses.
“I understand the controversy,” said Rep. Mark McCullough, the bill’s author. “I understand the risks. … You could have misuse of a firearm, absolutely.
“I don’t agree with letting people strap on a gun and walk into a school,” he said. “It’s too sensitive of an environment.”
McCullough said his measure would allow each school district to develop its own security plans.
“There is nothing in this bill that prohibits a school district from hiring resource officers,” He said. “That’s my stated preference. … The best choice is if we could staff each of our schools with a paid resource officer.”