Oklahoma Legalizes Arming Teachers and Staff on School Campuses

On May 12, Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin (R) signed House Bill 2014, legalizing armed teachers and staff on Oklahoma public school campuses.

Sponsored by state Representative Jeff Coody (R-Dist. 63), HB 2014 “[authorizes] the carrying of a handgun onto school property by school personnel specifically designated by the board of education,” provided that person has undergone the training requirement and received the certification requisite to it.

School districts that want armed teachers and/or staff on their campuses can now “designate a school employee to attend an armed security guard training program, or reserve peace officer program” to get the proper training.

According to News 9, Coody said, “I think the thinking has always been that if we eliminate guns, it makes it a safer place. The only problem is you cannot eliminate those who are not willing to comply with the law. A gun-free zone is a target, a soft target.”

Coody’s bill enjoyed the support of Professional Oklahoma Educators (POE), which views HB 2014 as legislation that gives “options to school districts to protect their students.” Ginger Tinney, POE executive director,  said, “We cannot play games anymore. These are the lives of our children.”

HB 2014 passed in the Oklahoma Senate on April 22 by a vote of 40 to 5. It passed the House on May 6 by a vote of 82 to 12.

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