State bill would OK firearms training for school employees
Published: Wednesday, January 30, 2013 at 4:04 p.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, January 30, 2013 at 4:04 p.m.
LOS ANGELES — A group of seven Republican state legislators on Wednesday unveiled a bill that would allow school districts to use state funds to give firearm training to staff so they are equipped to ward off campus attackers.
Assemblyman Tim Donnelly said he introduced AB 202, which he dubbed the "the California School Marshal Plan," in response to the December shooting at a Connecticut elementary school that killed 20 children and six adults.
"The teachers and administrators at Sandy Hook showed incredible bravery, laying their lives down for their students," the Twin Peaks lawmaker said. "We must honor their sacrifice by ensuring that our teachers are not left defenseless again."
Current law allows school staff to carry a concealed firearm on campuses if allowed by the district. The proposed law would expand that by allowing school districts to use general purpose funds to train any willing school employee — teachers, administrators or support staff — to use guns, Donnelly said.
Having such "school marshals" would serve as a deterrent to would-be intruders, as well as a line of defense against violent perpetrators, he added.
"We have a moral imperative to protect the children in our schools," Donnelly said.
The bill is the latest that a host of lawmakers have introduced in response to the Connecticut rampage and other mass shootings.
Proposals range from SB 49, which would require schools to update their safety plans to AB 48, which would place more controls on ammunition sales.
Assemblyman Tom Ammiano, a Democrat from San Francisco who chairs the Public Safety Committee, said he had not yet studied any of the proposals.
"I'm ready to make sure each of the bills gets careful consideration," he said.
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