Senate Bill Would Give Guns to Teachers

By: Allison Nielsen | Posted: March 11, 2014 4:00 PM

A bill to arm teachers and school employees is zipping through the Florida Legislature, much to the delight of the National Rifle Association and to the dismay of various parent and teacher groups.

The bill, SB 968, sponsored by Sen. Alan Hays, R-Umatilla, would allow military veterans or retired police officers with concealed weapons and special training to bring guns to Florida’s schools. Principals or school officials would appoint those meeting the requirements as designees to carry guns on campus.

On Monday, the legislation passed through the Senate Criminal Justice Committee by a 5-2 vote.

SB 968 is reminiscent of a proposal from the NRA following the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in 2012 -- an incident, Hays said, the bill would attempt to prevent.

“Part of our tactics here is to not let those perpetrators of evil, for them to think there’s no weapons at a school so I can go in there and not have any resistance,” said Hays.

Hays’ bill hasn’t come without backlash. Groups of parents, teachers and school officials from across the Sunshine State have spoken out against the proposal.

Florida School Board Association Executive Director Wayne Blanton doesn’t think it’s necessary to have teachers or volunteers toting firearms around schools.

“Uniformed, trained police officers in every school … That’s what we really need,” Blanton said. “We do not need teachers, or in this case, volunteers, in our schools carrying weapons. Our teachers and our principals are role models for impressionable young people. If our teachers and our principals and our coaches carry weapons, why won't our kids?”

The legislation is one of several gun bills making its way through the Florida Legislature this session. One bill would grant immunity for those firing warning shots and another would allow tax collectors to accept applications for concealed-weapons permits.

Florida’s pro-gun laws have come under fire in recent months, however. Over the summer, student groups actively protested the state’s Stand Your Ground laws, camping out at the Florida Capitol for a month, vowing not to leave until the law was repealed.

Now that state lawmakers are back in Tallahassee, so are the protesters. On Monday the Rev. Al Sharpton and several hundred people gathered in front of the Capitol, speaking out against Florida’s Stand Your Ground law. Sharpton said the protest marked the beginning of a “spring and summer offensive” at the Capitol.

"We can't talk about making guns more available,” said Sharpton. “We ought to be talking about making them less available.”

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

Comments (3)

12:05PM MAR 12TH 2014
Maybe this is the only good thing that will come out of the Obama Administration Sandy Hook Hoax after all.

William is right about those labor union (SEIU) teachers alright, but with the Common Core and Charter School conversions being pushed by Jeb Bush, many of the public school teachers are coming to realize they are an endangered species. Not to mention Rick Scott cut their salaries by 3% in 2010 by forcing them to pay into their retirement system. then he come back with that scheme to defraud with the pledge to give all teachers a $2500. raisethen their school boards horded that money and used it to cover their overdrafts.

Somewhere out there on the internet is a list of all the Florida Mayor's who support gun confiscation laws along with the email addresses. The list must be 50-65 mayor's long. Believe it or not most are from Jeb Bush influenced areas in South Florida, Central Florida and the Panhandle. Why would these mayor's want to take our guns?
5:15PM MAR 12TH 2014
You really need to get your facts straight.
11:03AM MAR 12TH 2014
Thank goodness, I'm not involved in this, because I don't have kids. If I did, I would be having a heart attack about now. I have been a public supporter of various NRA positions, even though I don't own guns myself, because I know better than to mess with American's "right to bear arms". (That's a tough battle, trust me.) But guns in the hands of labor union "teachers"?! Oh, no way, no how! Protect your kids! Kick the labor unions out of your schools, and re-take control of your schools.

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