ATLANTA - A bill to allow certain school personnel to carry guns during the school day is one step closer to a vote by the full House. A revised version of the measure by Rep. Paul Battles (R-Cartersville) easily passed out of the House Public Safety and Homeland Security committee.
It would allow local school boards to make the decision whether to arm school personnel, who would then carry concealed firearms once they have undergone a certified training course approved by the board.
Under the old version of the bill, only principals or school administrators would have been allowed to carry weapons.
Boards could not force any school official to participate.
The bill also protects the identity of the school personnel who will carry the guns in order to protect their safety, much like sky marshals on airplanes.
Battles says he sponsoring the bill to add an extra layer of protection for those school systems that do not have school resource officers.
“So many systems do not have any coverage, especially in their primary and elementary schools,” he tells WSB.
But Decatur resident Laura Bordeaux does not think more guns is the answer.
“I’ve never had firearms training, I will admit that, but logically I just don’t see how that can work,” she says.
Bordeaux, who sat in on the committee meeting with a group of women opposed to the measure, is also concerned it will be an extra burden for school officials.
“I’m very concerned about the idea of teacher and administrators having more than one job to do,” she says.
Only two committee members opposed the bill which now heads to the House Rules Committee before going on to the full House for a vote.