As The Daily Wire’s Frank Camp previously reported, the Florida state legislature recently passed high-profile legislation prescribing a process by which more teachers will be able to lawfully carry firearms in school, if they so choose:
The Florida legislation lays out a set of rules by which public school boards, teachers, charter schools, and law enforcement authorities must abide before any such program can take shape.
The following are some of the requirements stated in the legislation:
- A school board must vote “by a majority to implement a guardian program,” giving them ultimate authority in the matter.
- Once a school board has voted in the affirmative, the county sheriff must set up its own guardian program, or allow the school board to “contract with another sheriff’s office that has established a guardian program.” …
- Guardians have no law enforcement authority aside from stopping or hindering a school shooting.
- Guardians must have a valid concealed carry license, and complete 144 hours of training, including a psychological evaluation and diversity training.
- Guardians “must submit to and pass an initial drug test and subsequent random drug tests,” and “successfully complete ongoing training, weapon inspection, and firearm qualification on at least an annual basis.”
Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a bill Wednesday that’ll let more Florida teachers carry guns in school, the latest response to last year’s mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland.
DeSantis signed the bill in private and issued no statement. The Republican-led Florida House of Representatives voted to send the bill to the governor last week, while the GOP-controlled state Senate passed the measure the week before.
The new law expands an existing school “guardian” program and allows any teacher to volunteer to carry a weapon if his or her school district approves. Would-be volunteers must undergo at least 144 hours of police-style training, psychiatric evaluation and drug screening. Under a previous law, passed immediately after the February 2018 Parkland shooting, only teachers who had another role at school, such as sports coach, were eligible to carry weapons on campus.
The bill faced stiff opposition from Democrats and teacher unions, as Fox News notes. But as NBC News reported in January, a safety commission established in the aftermath of the Parkland school shooting affirmatively recommended arming teachers as one policy prescription to deter future school shootings:
The commission investigating a shooting massacre at a Florida high school unanimously approved its initial findings and recommendations Wednesday, including a controversial proposal that teachers who volunteer and undergo training be allowed to carry guns.
The 15-member Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Commission’s 446-page report details what members believe happened before, during and after the Feb. 14 shooting attack that left 14 students and three staff members dead and 17 wounded.
Many teachers in Florida seem willing and eager to arm themselves. Last week, Reuters reported that, “in anticipation of passage, school employees in 40 of Florida’s 67 counties already enrolled in or planned to take the 144-hour course.”
As The Daily Wire reported, the most recent tragic school shooting in America occurred this past Tuesday in Highlands Ranch, Colorado.