Teachers with Guns

Tue, Jul 30, 2013

General Legal Issues

Some rights reserved by mdanysClarksville County, a small school district in Arkansas, will allow some of its teachers and staff to carry firearms at school this coming school year. They are using an Arkansas law already on the books to do that.

It seems that the teachers and staff were volunteers and have undergone extensive training. One of the most interesting aspects is that these armed persons will not be specifically identified. While it might be assumed they will be eventually found out, the schools will only post signs stating that an unnamed, armed individual is on campus. This information comes from FoxNews.com, who reports more on their website.

There was much talk about teachers with guns after the school shooting in Connecticut, but the subject seemed to have slowed a bit. However, some states have recently implemented or tried to implement new laws allowing armed teachers. South Dakota is believed to be the first to get it passed. Their law is called School Sentinel and allows certain teachers and school officials to carry a gun. Their law comes with its own requirements of training and granting of permissions. NPR tells more details about the law. This article in the Rapid City Journal implies that the law may not be working as smoothly as hoped, due to trouble with the licensing itself.

Texas is a state that already had a “loophole” in their law that allowed some folks to carry weapons on school property. This was only if the school board and school attorneys came to a consensus to permit weapons on school grounds though, according to Abcnews.com. Levelland school district is mentioned as newly adopting these policies, while Harrold Independent School District is mentioned as having policies like this in place for many years.

The Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania area agreed to have armed security officers in some of its schools right after the Connecticut school shooting, according to this article. And they were not alone.

News about armed persons in schools might become more prevalent as summer winds down and schools begin to prepare for the new school year. We can assume that these mentioned school districts will be closely watched by many other school districts to see if the idea of armed staff and/or faculty is working. Of particular interest might be the South Dakota school district, since they enacted brand new legislation to arm teachers. This is a different matter than the school districts who used laws already on the books or just re-enacted old laws.

Florida has laws regarding guns in schools. We have written about the rules about concealed weapons on school property on our blog before. Our blog post, “Where Does a Florida Concealed Weapons Permit Allow Me to Carry My Gun?” discusses the many places you can and cannot carry your concealed weapon, including schools. This specific page on the Florida Department of Agriculture’s website has a detailed list of where you cannot carry your concealed weapon. Many of the listed places and events are school-related.

Always be aware of the gun laws in your state and places you travel. It is important to keep abreast of gun laws and gun safety. This article on Florida Today’s website has some very helpful information about all of Florida’s gun laws, not just about concealed weapons. Make sure you always double-check your information about gun laws in Florida, so you are not caught in an illegal situation unexpectedly. Chapter 790 of the Florida State Statutes is a good place to do that.

Attorney Christopher D. Smith is a Lakewood Ranch, Florida attorney with SmithLaw Attorneys. He concentrates in bankruptcy, civil litigation, probate, and elder exploitation cases in the Sarasota and Bradenton area. Call 941 907-4774 to learn more and to ask about our free consultations.

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