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A Florida House committee has approved a bill that would allow trained officials to carry weapons in schools.
The bill (HB 753) approved 8-4 by House Justice Appropriations committee is sponsored by Greg Steube, a Republican from Sarasota. It gives schools the option to appoint former or current law enforcement officers and former or current military officers with state-legislated training to carry firearms on campus.
They would be required to go through 40 hours of school-safety training and eight hours of active-shooter training each year. They also would need four hours of firearm qualification annually.
They'd be required to have a carry-and-conceal permit. Local school boards or principals would make the appointments. Next up for the House bill is the Judiciary Committee.
Steube argued that school-shooting incidents such as Sandy Hook take place in a matter of minutes that is less than many average police response times. A trained, armed official on the property could save lives before police arrive.
Representatives for the Florida School Board Association and Parent Teacher Association opposed the bill. The PTA would rather have further investment in school resource officers and intervention programs.