H. 3160 is another CWP school carry bill, but much more restrictive than S.242. This bill would only extend to public school employees, not all CWP holders, and only at the school where the employee works. This bill would require that “the employee: (1) keeps the firearm on his person at all times while on the premises; (2) keeps the weapon concealed when not in use; (3) uses only frangible bullets in an effort to avoid ricochets; (4) provides written notification of his intent to carry the firearm to the principal of the school where the weapon will be carried; (5) successfully completes and biennially renews certification as a precision marksman by SLED; and (6) has no history of violence or unmanaged anger documented by his employer.”
As currently drafted, a teacher with a CWP could carry in the school where she works. But, if she carried into another school to pick up her child, then she would be committing a felony. How does this improve the safety of our children? The limitation should be deleted.
The bill also provides that “[a] school board may only deny an employee of his ability to carry a firearm . . . upon a finding of just cause.” If “just cause” existed, then SLED would have revoked the CWP already. So, allowing a school board to deny for alleged “just cause” only sets the stage for improper denials and unnecessary litigation. The provision allowing the school board to deny an employee the right to carry should be deleted. Or, in the alternative, any school board members voting to deny the right to carry should be made personally liable for any wrongful denials.
A violation of this law mandates a five year revocation of the CWP, which only affects the CWP holder and not the school board that improperly denies an employee the right to carry.
There are two sections of law that address firearms on school property – Sections 16-23-420 and 16-23-430. But, this bill only amends Section 16-23-420. Therefore, this bill must be amended to address Section 16-23-430, too.
Currently, there is no “precision marksman” certification by SLED, so that would need to be addressed. A precision marksman certification is vague enough to encompass a wide range of standards. To ensure that an unreasonable standard is not created, the precision marksman certification should not be more stringent than that required of the law enforcement officers that are currently assigned to our schools. Therefore, this bill should be amended to set the standard as that necessary to pass the Justice Academy.