Bill to improve school safety heads to House for final consideration

Ponca City Now - February 13, 2020 1:26 pm

OKLAHOMA CITY – The Senate passed legislation Wednesday to provide more local control for school districts to decide how to protect their students.

Sen. David Bullard, R-Durant, is principal Senate author of House Bill 2336.  The measure would allow a local board of education to voluntarily adopt a policy to authorize the carrying of a handgun onto school property by school personnel who hold a valid reserve peace officer certification or possess a valid handgun license.

School personnel will also be required to complete “campus-specific active shooter training” conducted by local law enforcement.

“This bill will let our local districts and boards decide what works best for their schools, especially in rural areas where law enforcement can’t respond as quickly to incidents as in urban areas,” Bullard said.  “Currently, in order to carry on school grounds, personnel and teachers must be CLEET certified, which is unattainable for most because it’s so expensive and time prohibitive.  For those districts that choose to authorize personnel to carry, this legislation will let them work with their local law enforcement for active shooting training in their own schools.  This will be much more beneficial than being trained in a facility in another city should a real incident occur.”

Currently, teachers and school personnel must complete a 240-hour Council on Law Enforcement Education and Training (CLEET) certification to carry on school grounds.  HB 2336 replaces the CLEET training requirement with ether the eight-hour concealed carry class or the 72 hours of armed security guard training, along with the active shooter training.

“Most of our rural schools are vulnerable to these types of shootings because they can’t afford a resource officer or other security, and it takes local law enforcement too long to get to the schools,” Bullard said.  “Schools in my district strongly support this measure.  They understand that other schools may have more options for security because of their finances, but for those schools who don’t have the money, they want to be able to properly protect their students.”

Rep. Sean Roberts is the House author of HB 2336, which was requested by the Oklahoma Second Amendment Association. It was co-authored by Rep. Ken Luttrell.

The amended bill now returns to the House for final consideration.

 

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