Arizona Capitol

Arizona's Guns-in-Schools Bill Makes a Comeback

For the second year in a row, legislators have proposed allowing people other than police officers to have guns on school campuses.

Attorney General Tom Horne pushed for the legislation last year in response to the Newtown, Connecticut, massacre of schoolchildren, as he called for one person in every school to have access to a firearm "to handle emergency situations."

House Bill 2412, proposed this session by Republican Representatives David Stevens and David Gowan, would make such a program optional for schools, just as last year's bill would have.

"The Attorney General, in coordination with the Department of Public Safety, shall provide training to a school district or charter school employee who has been approved and designated by the school district governing board or the governing body of the charter school to store a firearm on the school campus for the purpose of defending that school campus," one provision in the bill says.

The firearm would have to be stored in a "secure firearm locker." So in the case of a school shooting, the lone employee with the key to access to the gun would have to first retrieve that gun from the locker in the midst of this shooting, before attempting to be the hero and take out the shooter.

Last year's bill never even got a committee hearing.

"It would be ideal to have an armed Police Officer in each school," Horne said last year. "But since budget considerations make that unlikely, the next best solution is to have one person in the school trained to handle firearms, to handle emergency situations, and possessing a firearm in a secure location.

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Follow Matthew Hendley on Twitter at @MatthewHendley.

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Matthew Hendley
Contact: Matthew Hendley