State Rep. Paul Battles, R-Cartersville, today pre-filed legislation that would give Georgia boards of education leeway to allow school administrators to carry concealed weapons in buildings, at school functions – even on buses.
HB 35 becomes one of five gun bills already lodged with the House, with the start of the 2013 session of the General Assembly still six days away – all with the December massacre of school children in Newtown, Conn., in mind.
Battles emphasized that his legislation is a “may” – not a “shall” — measure. The bill “is very simple. It’s not absolute,” he told my AJC colleague Aaron Gould Sheinin.
Under HB 35, armed administrators would be required to complete a basic training course, and would have to “annually qualify with each fire arm that he or she intends to possess or carry.”
School systems would be required to pay for all expenses associated with training.
Battles said he spoke with superintendents of Cartersville and Bartow County schools to address school safety and both lamented their inability to afford resource officers.
“We went through the discussion process of even possibly deputizing some of the administrators,” Battles said. “We had long discussions about different approaches. We came up with what I feel is the cleanest, most appropriate way for school systems to deal with their inability to provide security.”
Battle said his preference would be to placed trained law enforcement officers in every school. “We just can’t. We don’t have the resources right now,” he said.
Four other gun bills have been filed by state Rep.-elect Charles Gregory, R-Kennesaw, who campaigned heavily on the Second Amendment and limited government power. His legislation would sweep away any restrictions on carrying concealed firearms in Georgia — including on college campuses and in churches.
- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider