Bill Allowing Guns At OK Private Schools Advances In Senate

Monday, April 1st 2013, 10:17 pm
By: News 9

Private schools across the state are closer to choosing whether to legally allow firearms on their property. If the school allows, teachers and administrators could have the option to pack heat on campus.

4/1/2013 Related Story: Oklahoma Senate To Consider Bill Allowing Guns At Private Schools

Representative Sally Kern says this bill is for those who are licensed to carry and the decision to bring those guns on campus would be completely up to the school.

"The key issue is, this is private property, and should they have even been regulated in the first place," said Kern.

Kern says the private property issue was the deciding factor that allowed this bill to be heard and get passed by the Senate Education Committee. For a second year OK2A, an Oklahoma Second Amendment Association approached Kern about drafting a bill allowing fire arms on private school property.

But, the association says, this is the first time the bill has gotten this much traction.

"This is a way to allow them to protect their students, as well as their faculty if they choose to do it," said Kern.

"Where would the weapon be? In a desk drawer in the classroom," said Cheryl Scott, a mother, who opposes the bill. "Then it could get into someone else's hands. It just opens up the door for other issues I think."

Kern says that decision would be up to each school.

A bill that would have allowed public school districts to decide whether to arm teachers derailed in a Senate Education Committee Monday. Instead, the School Safety Task Force recommended among a few things, the creation of a school security institute, and mental health training for school staffs.

"I don't think any administrator or teachers, or anything like that should be carrying weapons," said Scott.

"Right now, public schools, most of them have a resource officer, or more than one," said Kern. "Private schools, usually don't even have one."

"Whether it's private or public, Guns were not designed to be in the school house anyway," said Gary Jones, a grandfather, who also opposes the bill.

Kern's bill passed with zero opposition out of the Senate Committee Monday. The bill now heads to the full Senate.

The bill that would apply to public schools could be reassigned to another committee, but that's not expected to happen.