Mississippi House passes bill that would allow school district staff to be armed

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February 15, 2013


By Zac Humphrey

JACKSON, Mississippi: Teachers and principals in Mississippi may soon be able to carry concealed guns in schools, if a bill that was passed by the Mississippi House of Representatives makes it through the Mississippi State Senate.[1]

House bill 958 was sponsored by Representative Lester Carpenter (R) who has explained that it would provide safety to students and be a cheaper option than hiring armed guards. Originally, the bill stated that only two staff members per district would be allowed to operate in this manner. This provision was removed from the final language approved by the House in committee.[1]

Opponents of the bill say that this is reactionary and not well thought out. Representative David Myers (D) voiced opposition to the bill by saying that leaving untrained school personnel in the position to make decisions in an emergency is something that is better left to law enforcement.[1]

Representative Jeffrey Guice (R) said that state departments of education and public safety would have to sign off on any conceal and carry policies that would be enacted under the provisions of this bill.[1]

Passage of this bill isn't guaranteed, however. There is a Senate proposal that is supported by Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves which would set up a matching state fund of $7.5 million to allow schools to hire armed guards.[1]

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