I do not consider myself a person interested in guns although I am married to a person who grew up hunting and handling guns all his life. However, I am not against armed citizens. I don’t believe our crime problem is guns. I believe our crime problem has more to do with people not respecting the basic rules of an ordered society. I have also learned over the years that the only way to stop an evil person with a gun is to have an armed citizen protecting other citizens. That is why I support H216 which was introduced into the North Carolina legislature on February 28, 2019.
H216 is a simple two page law. This is the bill:
A BILL TO BE ENTITLED AN ACT TO AUTHORIZE CERTAIN MEMBERS OF THE FACULTY OR STAFF OF A SCHOOL TO CARRY A HANDGUN ON THE SCHOOL GROUNDS TO RESPOND TO ACTS OF VIOLENCE OR AN IMMINENT THREAT OF VIOLENCE.
The General Assembly of North Carolina enacts:
SECTION1.This act shall be known as “The School Self-Defense Act.”
SECTION 2.G.S.14-269.2 reads as rewritten:
“§ 14-269.2. Weapons on campus or other educational property.
(a)The following definitions apply to this section:
(3a)Volunteer school faculty guardian. –A person who (i) is a member of the faculty or staff of a school, (ii)is a full-time or part-time employee,and (iii) possesses a valid concealed handgun permit issued to the person in accordance with Article 54B of Chapter 14 of the General Statutes.
(3b)Volunteer school safety resource officer. –A person who volunteers as a school safety resource officer as provided by G.S.162-26 or 16G.S.160A-288.4.
(g)This section shall not apply to any of the following:
(8) Subject to the condition set forth in subsection (m) of this section, a volunteer school faculty guardian, while on the grounds of the school the person is employed by or assigned to, who meets all of the following requirements:
- Successfully completes 16 hours of active shooter training in the School Faculty Guardian program developed and administered by the North Carolina Criminal Justice Education and Training Standards Commission pursuant to G.S.17C-6(a)(21).
- Submits to the chief administrator of the school on an annual basis written notice that the person continues to possess a valid concealed handgun permit issued to the person in accordance with Article 54B of Chapter 14 of the General Statutes.
- Provides evidence satisfactory to the chief administrator of the school on an annual basis that the person has demonstrated proficiency with the type of handgun and handgun retention system used.
d.When on school grounds, only possesses the handgun during the conduct of his or her duties.
e.Except when responding to an act of violence or an imminent threat of violence at the school, keeps the handgun concealed at all times while on the school grounds. For purposes of this subdivision, the term “violence”means physical injury that a reasonable person would conclude could lead to permanent injury or death.
- Submits to annual drug testing.
(m)The governing body or entity of a school may opt out of the authority granted under subdivision (8) of subsection (g) of this section and prohibit a person from possessing a handgun pursuant to the authority in subdivision (8) of subsection (g) of this section on the grounds of the school or schools under its control.”
SECTION 3.G.S.17C-6(a) reads as rewritten:
“(a)In addition to powers conferred upon the Commission elsewhere in this Chapter, the Commission shall have the following powers, which shall be enforceable through its rules and regulations, certification procedures, or the provisions of G.S.17C-10:
(21)Establish and administer the School Faculty Guardian program, which provides active shooter training to volunteer school faculty guardians, as defined under G.S.14-269.2.”
SECTION 4.The provisions of G.S.143C-5-2 do not apply to this act.
SECTION 5.There is appropriated from the General Fund to the North Carolina Criminal Justice Education and Training Standards Commission the sum of five hundred thousand dollars ($500,000) in nonrecurring funds for the 2019-2020 fiscal year to be used to cover costs incurred in establishing the School Faculty Guardian program required under G.S.17C-6(a)(18), as enacted by Section 3 of this act.
SECTION 6. Section 5 of this act becomes effective July 1, 2019. The remainder of this act is effective when it becomes law.
Note that the teacher participation is voluntary. Also note that there is training involved. Since many of our teachers are military veterans, I think they would be well-suited for the training. Note that schools have the opportunity to opt out of the program.
Something else to consider:
- Arming faculty reduces school shootings: A new study entitled “Schools that Allow Teachers to Carry Guns Are Extremely Safe: Data on the Rate of Shootings and Accidents in Schools that Allow Teachers to Carry found that:
- Zero school shootings at schools with armed faculty: During hours when armed teachers would logically be present, none of the schools with armed faculty experienced school shootings.
- A significant increase in school shootings at schools which do NOT allow armed faculty: Between 2001 and 2018, the number of school shootings at schools which did not allow armed faculty more than doubled.
Calling your North Carolina legislator to vote this bill out of committee and on to the floor for a vote would be a really good idea. The website to get names and phones numbers and email addresses is ncleg.gov.