Bill to Allow Guns in Schools Passes House Subcommittee

By: Allison Nielsen | Posted: April 2, 2014 1:05 PM

A bill that would arm school officials is speedily making its way through the Florida House of Representatives, where the Justice Appropriations Subcommittee approved it by a vote of 8-4.

All four opposing votes came from Democrats.

HB 753, sponsored by Rep. Greg Steube, R-Sarasota, would allow local school boards or school principals to designate employees -- typically former or current law enforcement officers -- to carry guns on campus.

If passed, the legislation would require trained officials to complete 40 hours of school safety training as well as eight hours of active shooter training and four hours of firearm proficiency training.

The training programs would be administered by State of Florida Criminal Justice Training Centers across the state.

According to the bill, the State of Florida Criminal Justice Training Center must certify and provide proof of the designee's completion of the trainings “in a manner prescribed by the Criminal Justice Standards and Training Commission.”

All officials would be required to have a concealed carry permit.

The bill has gathered considerable criticism from the Florida School Board Association. FSBA has said it supports school safety, but allowing guns in schools is shaky ground for the FSBA.

“FSBA believes that only highly trained professional law enforcement officers can be entrusted with weaponry on our school grounds,” said school board representative Ruth Melton.

similar bill died this week in its journey through the Senate. According to the St. Augustine Record, Sen. Alan Hays, R-Umatilla, who sponsored the bill, said he was told in a private meeting with Education Committee Chairman John Legg, R-Lutz, that the legislation wouldn’t be heard this year.

“When the committee chairman doesn’t want to hear the bill, it’s toast,” said Hays.

Reach Tampa-based reporter Allison Nielsen at or follow her on Twitter at @AllisonNielsen.

Comments (4)

10:41AM APR 3RD 2014
I feel safer when law abiding citizens are armed. We should have "Open carry" in FL. Let the idiot gun control people get use to seeing the guns everywhere and then they will begin to feel comfortable around them. At that point we all will be safer. It is not the gun that need controlling but criminals.
7:50AM APR 3RD 2014
Seems Mr Clutz Legg from Lutz, FL is a bit off center, along with 7 pals of his. Their votes come to demonstrate just how lopsided government is, no matter which branch at the State, local or federal level. This is a very dangerous bill, one which I am certain will not find many communities ready to adopt.
Simply, guns (unless carried by law enforcement officials, do NOT belong in ANY school, including colleges.
The next reason for me is the liability issue. Let someone be shot accidentally and watch the lawyers pick up available TV and radio advertising space! Worse yet, would be the unfortunate, and accidental killing of a young and innocent student, shot by some school employee who was annoyed at the world because of his life's failures. Will the State of Florida also assume the liability insurance costs for all school districts within the State of Florida? This is clearly, and in my opinion, one stupid and dangerous bill which should not even be considered! Certain alleged Republicans who like to boast about their records will certainly be remembered IF they were to support this bad and dangerous bill. SHAME on any, and all who would vote to support this bill!
11:14AM APR 3RD 2014
Nothing but emotionalism. Not one fact to back up your suppositions. Defend your claim that when used by other than cops, guns don't belong in schools. Your intimation is that they don't belong in the hands of law abiding citizens in the defense of themselves and the students. Fine. You should be able show many instances where those people have killed innocents.
Liability? Show one instance where someone was shot accidentally by a citizen acting to protect students (other than a cop), in a school and the lawyers went nuts.
Propaganda and emotionalism is all you have. Worse, it is just other idiots' propaganda that feeds your emotionalism. SHAME on you for not having an original thought.
Tom Reynolds
6:58PM APR 2ND 2014
The Florida School Board Association thinks that our former military folks are not highly trained ? Wow, our children are worst off than I ever thought !

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