Senate panel OKs bill allowing school employees to carry guns

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – The Senate Education Committee has advanced legislation that would allow certain school employees to carry firearms on school property.

Senate Bill 383 would allow school personnel access to guns if they have authorization from the school board of directors, are licensed to carry a concealed firearm, and have met certain training requirements in the use and handling of firearms.

School districts would not be required to participate but could establish their own policies.

In his co-sponsorship memoranda, Republican Sen. Donald White said his proposal would provide another option for schools, especially those in rural areas, by providing a quick response to school shootings.

The union that represents Pennsylvania’s public school teachers said the bill would threaten student safety.

“Teachers are not trained law enforcement officers – their job is to educate children and act as role models,” Pennsylvania State Education Association president Jerry Oleksiak said in a statement. “This legislation would create more problems for first responders arriving at the scene of an armed confrontation, making it more difficult to immediately distinguish a perpetrator from a school employee.”

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