A South Dakota proposal enabling school boards to arm school employees or volunteers is similar to what a lot of states already do or are considering doing.
That surprised me.
Lauren Heintz, research analyst with the National Conference of State Legislatures, on Wednesday shared her list of existing laws and pending legislation related to guns and schools. My story today lists the 24 states that allow someone outside of law enforcement to carry a gun at a school.
Here are proposals in 15 states where lawmakers are weighing bills similar to South Dakota’s HB1087, which passed the House on Tuesday and is headed to a Senate committee:
Alaska: B55 enables school districts to enact policies allowing teachers and administrators to possess firearms on school grounds, with state firearms training and a concealed weapon permit.
California: Bill 202 would establish the School Marshal Program, authorizing schools to arm employees.
Colorado: A committee rejected SB9 on a 3-2 vote Monday. It would have allowed, at the discretion of a school board, an employee who has a concealed weapons permit to carry the weapon at school.
Connecticut: HB1158 would enable local school officials to authorize employees to carry weapons on school grounds. SB277 is similar. Neither has had a hearing.
Georgia: HB35 would authorize school boards to designate principals to carry firearms at school.
Maryland: HB436 would authorize the county board to allow their school employees to carry a handgun at school.
Missouri: HB70 would allow teachers and administrators to carry concealed firearms at school with a concealed carry endorsement.
Mississippi: HB177 would authorize school administrators to carry a handgun with certain licensing, training and conditions. Three other bills have similar goals.
New Hampshire: HB609 would require school boards to vote on procedures for school employees carrying firearms at school.
New Mexico: SB230 allows schools to designate one employee to carry a concealed handgun.
Oklahoma: HB1062 would allow certain people to carry guns at school and provide training.
Pennsylvania: HB122 would allow trained school personnel to carry guns at school.
South Carolina: HB3160 would allow a school employee with a concealed weapon permit to carry a gun at school.
Tennessee: HB6 would allow school personnel to carry a firearm at school if they have a handgun carry permit, the superintendent’s permission, takes 40 hours of police training and uses bullets that disintegrate on contact.
Virginia: HB1557 would require school boards to designate at least one person for every school who may carry a concealed handgun at school.