Florida Passes Law To Allow Teachers To Carry Guns In Schools

Teachers will be required to complete at least 142 hours of training, and must have school district approval.

Tallahassee, FL – The Florida Legislature has passed a bill that would allow Florida teachers to carry firearms in schools.

The measure passed out of the Florida House of Representatives with a vote of 65-47 on Wednesday, and was forwarded to Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, who is expected to sign the proposal into law, the Associated Press reported.

The bill is an expansion of the “guardian” program, and will allow teachers who want to carry guns to do so with school district approval.

Teachers wanting to participate will also be required to successfully complete law enforcement-style training, drug screening, and a psychiatric evaluation.

Altogether, they will need to undergo a minimum of 142 hours of training, which includes eight hours of diversity training, USA Today reported.

The bill also opens up more funding for mental health counseling and school security.

Republican Rep. Chuck Brannan, a retired law enforcement officer, said that the bill “allows the good guys to stop the bad,” according to the Associated Press.

“The bad guys will never know when the good guys are there to shoot back,” Brannan said. “The guardian is the last line of defense. He or she will be there when a police officer is not.”

The bill was created in the wake of the Feb. 14, 2018 Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School massacre, during which 20-year-old Nikolas Cruz murdered 17 students and faculty, and wounded 17 more.

In December, the state commission tasked with investigating the school shooting voted 13-1 to recommend arming teachers.

Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri, chairman of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Commission, said that school shootings happen quickly, and it’s not enough to have one or two school resource officers with guns, FOX News reported.

Usually a school shooter murders the most people in the first few minutes so there isn’t time for police to stop them, no matter whether they’re on or off campus.

Putting a police officer in every classroom to protect students would not be feasible, but arming teachers who are willing and have passed background checks could be reasonably accomplished, Sheriff Gualtieri said.

According to the sheriff, the Parkland gunman reloaded his AR-15 five times, which would have given armed faculty members five opportunities to shoot and kill him.

"We have to give people a fighting chance, we have to give them an opportunity to protect themselves," he said. "One good guy with a gun on campus is not enough."

Despite support from the commission, which was made up of law enforcement, education and mental health professionals, a legislator, and the fathers of two students murdered in the attack, newly-appointed Broward County Sheriff Gregory Tony disagreed with the passage of the bill.

Sheriff Tony was appointed to his position by the governor after disgraced former Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel was removed from office in the wake of the school shooting.

“This program would place students, teachers, and first responders at risk, when our focus should be on keeping our children safe and making schools places where students feel they belong,” Sheriff Tony wrote in a letter to the local school board and the district superintendent, according to the Associated Press. “Teachers enter that profession to educate children, not to serve as school security.”

Most Democrats opposed the bill, and alleged that having armed teachers inside schools would place kids at risk. Some claimed that African American students would be at even greater risk because of alleged inherent biases.

Many school boards have already voted against joining the guardian program, and teachers’ unions also strongly opposed the legislation.

Republican Rep. Jennifer Sullivan, who sponsored the bill, said that no one will force teachers carry a weapon to protect themselves and their students.

“If a teacher does not want to be a guardian, we don’t require them to. This bill does not require districts to arm teachers,” Sullivan said.

Comments (14)
No. 1-8
Jeff1245
Jeff1245

As far as making students feel like they belong....They do...Shooters do not...Make sure they have proper training and lets hope they do not freeze up in a stressful situation.

AmyHaupert
AmyHaupert

And of course the libtards have to throw in their racial crap. Any teacher I know would give their lives to save a student and color makes no difference. Indiana is a perfect example where one of the teachers ran into the students gunfire to protect his students. He lived to tell about it and is a HERO! And guess what? There were all colors of students in his class!

trainbuff
trainbuff

I do not think Sheriff Tony realizes how long it will take to regain the trust of the citizens. Israel really screwed up.

Wish505
Wish505

Sure hope they are selective in this process. I have provided a supplemental work at a local school and even during a school drill the teachers freak out and some almost go into a mood of hysteria lord knows we don't need them carry a weapon. Then again there are a few who are solid and keep a cool head. If a local area offers a Reserve Officers Training Program I strongly suggest they be required to pass all requirements and attend this training or a suitable replacement.

Wasiechu
Wasiechu

There are very few teachers suited to even handle a firearm. In my staff of 70, there were three I’d trust with a weapon. One was an avid hunter and two of us were retired military. When you get to carrying a weapon in the classroom and around students the risks go up. As example, a teacher with a purse rarely has a secure place to secure it. Then there's the “left in the bathroom” or “Forgot it in the classroom” issues. Finally, as in my case, teachers are often surrounded by students. The potential to have the weapon grabbed is high. My contention was to have gun safes to secure the weapons. Place the safes in non student areas (i.e. administration office) Then limit that access to trained staff.

Imjussayin
Imjussayin

Just a bit of info on why this legislation is a boat load of crap. Police only get roughly 110 hours of training upon admission to their respective academies AND THAT is COMBINED with hand to hand SELF DEFENSE TACTICS. After THAT they only get roughly 15 hours a year divided into two sessions of refresher training. The marines get roughly two hours of intensive training on high powered rifles of various kinds. Other parts of the service get even less fire arm training. The average person who acquires a hand gun practices with it in order to become proficient. Women may even engage in more practice with the realization that a smaller gun demands more practice to gain proficiency and most women carry smaller weapons in order to conceal them. So you are telling me that your average citizen who just happens to be a teacher now has to take more training than what is given in the local police force or marines????? That's crap. The goal should be to remove schools, colleges and churches from a list of soft targets. There needs to be a high statistical chance that a person conceal carrying in these venues will stop an attack as it begins. End of story. You don't need excessive training to get that done.

Pack
Pack

How is a teacher going to “teach the kids” if they’re dead? I just want one anti gun idiot to answer that question.

bluknight
bluknight

I would happy to help out with the training. Anyone with honor who is willing to defend those who cannot defend themselves I salute.