P.A. Governor Signs Bill Arming School Security Personnel

Gun control activists are concerned the wording of the bill indicates teachers in Pennsylvania schools are also allowed to carry firearms.

P.A. Governor Signs Bill Arming School Security Personnel

Under the new law, school security officers must complete the basic SRO training to carry a weapon.

Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf signed a bill on Tuesday that states security personnel can carry firearms on campus.

Gun control activists pushing to veto the measure are concerned the bill’s wording could mean teachers will also be carrying weapons on campus, according to the Inquirer.

“The possibility that the language gets manipulated into creating a category of teachers and other personnel who can be armed is … deeply disturbing,” said Deborah Gordon Klehr, executive director of the Education Law Center, which opposes the bill.

Wolf clarified that teachers are not allowed to be armed, reports the York Dispatch.

“This bill will make training requirements for armed security stricter, more comprehensive and based on modern practices for security, trauma and other essential skills and knowledge for security personnel,” Wolf stated.

State Senator Mike Regan was the bill’s primary sponsor, despite the pushback.

“My true belief is that, at the end of the day, part of the Democratic Party just doesn’t want a gun in school for any reason by anybody, whether it be a seasoned police officer or a trained security guard,” Regan said.

Under the new law, school security officers must complete the basic SRO training through the National Association of School Resource Officers (NASRO) or an equivalent course to carry a weapon.

The bill includes retired federal agents, retired state, municipal or military police officers and retired sheriffs and deputy sheriffs in its definition of an “independent contractor” who can be hired as security personnel.

All security personnel must be properly licensed to carry and certified under the state Lethal Weapons Training Act and pass the required state criminal background check.

 

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Katie Malafronte
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Katie Malafronte is Campus Safety's Web Editor. She graduated from the University of Rhode Island in 2017 with a Bachelor's Degree in Communication Studies and a minor in Writing & Rhetoric. Katie has been CS's Web Editor since 2018.

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