Lawmaker shelves his own bill to put more guns in schools; says it’s already a law
BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Within the blink of an eye, a bill that would authorize schools to designate one or two employees as school protection officers was scrapped.
“Well, we already have it; there’s no use doing extra laws when they can already do what I wanted them to do,” said Sen. Eddie Lambert, R-Gonzales.
Sen. Lambert said even he was surprised when he learned the law was already there.
“My hope was just to expand it where they can have more people other than law enforcement, but they can do that now. A teacher or a school employee with permission can carry a weapon. That’s what it says,” explained Sen. Lambert.
If anything, SB 158 would have added more requirements for these employees by requiring those designated to annually show proof of a concealed carry permit and a certificate showing the minimum peace officer standards and training. State Rep. Blake Miguez, R-New Iberia, has worked on several pieces of legislation around firearms.
“It’s my understanding the author pulled the bill from consideration,” said Rep. Miguez. “If you look at the current law, it allows local school districts the ability to hire security officers if that’s the normal scope of their employment.”
Rep. Miguez added if the intent of the bill was to allow teachers to have firearms, it could have been worded better.
“There’s been some debate whether teachers are permitted to carry firearms in his bill. That’s unclear. But under current law, teachers do not have the authority to carry firearms on school campuses. The local school districts under the law have the authority to hire security officers if that’s their normal course of employment,” explained Miguez.
The question now is if schools are allowed to designate employees to be protection officers, what’s the point of gun-free zones?
“Current law says that if you have gun-free zones to restrict individuals from being able to carry firearms there, there’s been some debate whether we should start letting different individuals like teachers to carry firearms if they have the proper certifications, they feel comfortable, the guns are secured. That’s a whole debate that we don’t see a bill on this session to have, but that’s a debate that I think the legislature has the appetite to debate at some point,” continued Miguez.
This was a good example of how important each word is when writing these laws, especially when it has to do with firearms and protecting kids in schools.
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