Legislation would allow school boards to designate armed administrators

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

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53 comments Add your comment

Chuck Shiflett

January 7th, 2013
7:58 pm

I’ve been a little tough on Paul the past 4 years, but this is a good bill

Aesop's Fables and other Lib Economic Theories

January 7th, 2013
8:05 pm

Sensible legislation that would produce clear, tangible results – no murdered children.

So, of course, the libs will be against it.

Just Wait

January 7th, 2013
8:11 pm

What make anyone think some thug high school student won’t take a gun off some “administrator” and us it on them or that the administrator will be in the right place at the right time to even be in a position to do anything about an armed intruder. And they will probably want more money for all the additional training they will have to take to be “armed.” There is a lot more to it than “point and click.”

Dave

January 7th, 2013
8:20 pm

I think he should introduce a companion bill allowing, but not requiring, legislators to pack heat. Everyone needs to feel safe and I’m sure not knowing just which of their fellow pols is packing will add to our leaders’ sense of security.

Aesop's Fables and other Lib Economic Theories

January 7th, 2013
8:27 pm

In the face of the furor, the Social Security Administration’s public affairs shop issued a statement explaining that its 295 agents need the bullets for target practice and to protect the agency’s 66 offices across the nation.

Hollow point bullets are standard-issue items for many police agencies, the Social Security Administration said. The bullets expand when they hit a target and can help prevent injuries to bystanders from bullets passing through a body, according to police.

Investigators “use this ammunition during their mandatory quarterly firearms qualifications and other training sessions, to ensure agent and public safety,” the administration added.

They want to protect themselves but not our children?

Andy McClure

January 7th, 2013
8:28 pm

I hate to disappoint you, Jim (and all of who are having coronaries about now over this), but that law already exists. From the Georgia Code:

The law shall not apply to:

A person who has been authorized in writing by a duly authorized official of the school to have in such person’s possession or use as part of any activity being conducted at a school building, school property, or school function a weapon which would otherwise be prohibited by this Code section. Such authorization shall specify the weapon or weapons which have been authorized and the time period during which the authorization is valid.

16-11-127.1(c)(6).

As a matter of fact, according to this excellent article, http://www.examiner.com/article/georgia-law-already-provides-a-method-for-school-employees-to-carry-firearms?CID=examiner_alerts_article , there are already school systems in Georgia who are allowing school employees to be armed (but you don’t know which ones) Shhhhh……

Oh Lord

January 7th, 2013
8:29 pm

This may be the beginning of the end of my career if this winds up taking hold. As an educator of over 25 years and a current school principal, I went into education to improve students’ lives through teaching and learning. If I wanted to carry a gun and be responsible for shooting a possible intruder, I would have gone into law enforcement. I am willing to do anything humanly needed to protect my staff and students, but I am not in education to be a gunslinger responsible for taking out a possible armed intruder. This goes over the line in reasonable expectations of school administrators. If there is that much fear about the safety of students, then tax payers need to pay up to allow for the employment of more trained school police officers at our buildings.

[...] would allow school boards to designate armed administrators Legislation would allow school boards to designate armed administrators | Political Insider The bill was filed by rep. Paul Battles (R) of Cartersville. School systems would be able to [...]

Aesop's Fables and other Lib Economic Theories

January 7th, 2013
8:41 pm

Either way works for me – more law enforcement presence at the schools or school personnel carrying hand cannons. These psycho punks are purebred cowards that don’t have the courage to risk getting a hole in their foreheads instead of achieving their “claim to fame.”

Andy McClure

January 7th, 2013
8:42 pm

kudos to Rep. Battles, but as I said, alot of school systems in Georgia are already doing this and are being totally legal about it. It’s time that people realize that gun free zones are a fantasy. nearly every major headline-grabbing mass shooting has taken place where guns were already banned by law or prohibited by policy. A law forbidding weapons and a really snazzy, intimidating looking sign backing it up did nothing to stop a truly deranged person. Stop being sheep. Bad people walk among us, and if allowed to, they will do bad things (unless stopped) Deal with it.

Kris

January 7th, 2013
8:45 pm

It will be a sad day when guns are outlawed and criminals (politicians included) still have weapons..A sadder day when when they pry my weapon from my cold dead fingers.

One thought to protect our Children while at school.

1. Take funding from Shady Deals guards Put more SRO’s in school’s. Deal has victor hill to protect him.

2. Reinstate fuel tax on Delta.

3. Or simply move all the cops running radar on I75/85/285 etc to the schools. Let the GSP handle the interstates. Train the Hazmat people to direct traffic as it seams there are an abundance of them standing around doing nothing when a accident spills a little fuel.

I’ll be a believer in this guns-everywhere krap when they allow armed people in the capital and on the floor of the legislature.

Now to pull a page from the GOP slime what are we going to cut to pay for this…
***Dammit it must be paid for with cuts*** whatever he cost. (legislature, governor (term used loosely) PAY and Payoffs included

Eli

January 7th, 2013
9:06 pm

Here goes the right-wing politicizing another situation that can be solved with simple city planning. They have no interest in actually protecting kids, they just want to help the gun industry make more money for their own campaign coffers.

Andy McClure

January 7th, 2013
9:13 pm

@ Eli- I’d say the left is the ones out for political gain over the bodies of those poor babies. The existing gun laws didn’t work, they only made it easy for the whacko. so their plan? Pass some more! Eric Holder and the ATF sold guns illegally to drug gangs in Mexico! and he’s on the president’s gun violence committee? Open your eyes, friend.

JD

January 7th, 2013
9:17 pm

Eli is probably on to something here. Don’t forget the last time a GA legislator took interest in this issue it was the piece of $hit in Cherokee, Sean Jerguson, who happens to be the owner of a gun store.

These people are not interested in real solutions. They just want to ward off primary opponents and make more money for their allies.

Andy McClure

January 7th, 2013
9:26 pm

@ Oh Lord- If you are not for school staff being armed, then you are not for doing everything humanly needed, as you say. if your idea is to hide and cower and hope the shooter does not find you while kids are being killed hoping the police get there in time, then, yes, you don’t need to be in the school system. I would not place my child in your care.

Kris

January 7th, 2013
10:00 pm

Is anything ever done in GA for the good of the citizens?….NOT! only for the shady politicians finical gain….

Dammit this is our CHILDREN or Grandchildren or older daughters and sons that become school teachers were are supposed to protect.

GOP slime balls better get this right!

Midnight garden

January 7th, 2013
10:02 pm

Typical …..if our kids are so important then the amount of money shouldn’t matter and yet this guy throws his hands up and says”oh well, no money …whatcha gonna do?”

Silent Jay

January 7th, 2013
10:16 pm

Wow. Aesop’s guarantee for “no more murdered children.”

That carries a lot of weight.

Don't Tread

January 7th, 2013
10:28 pm

Goodness, it’s already legal for certain people to have weapons at school functions? I’m missing all the news stories about all these folks shooting people in the schools! Where’s the press when they’re needed? Somebody’s sleeping on the job!

Eli

January 7th, 2013
11:26 pm

Andy, get your facts straight. The existing laws failed because the better laws weren’t renewed by the GOP 7 years ago. Also, the feds never sold guns to the cartels. Arizona state law prohibited the federal seizure of assault weapons so the feds had to return them to gun runners who were selling said assault weapons to the cartels.

Assault weapons are not tools of self defense. By design and definition assault weapons are those instruments of death made for offense. Gun control is only part of the solution. I have some belief in the 2nd amendment, but I am also a reasonable person. The founders only had muzzle-loaded firearms (and bows and arrows) in mind when they negotiated the 2nd amendment.

Will control solve all gun violence? No. Neither will more guns that are even less regulated. There is really nothing we can do about criminals killing each other…decrimalizing drugs will stop more of that type of violence than any gun law. Unfortunately red states hate taxes too much to want to solve the gun violence that makes the front pages of the news. Police and smart community planning cost lots of money…and that money has to come from somewhere. And it does not come from spending cuts…it.comes.from tax revenues.

Kris

January 7th, 2013
11:46 pm

So the solution is to pass more laws For or against gun control but offer no funding to enforce said fairy tail laws…

Or provide SRO’s to schools….It looks like were back to the page from the GOP slime book what are we going to cut to pay for this…

***Dammit it must be paid for with cuts*** whatever he cost. (legislature, governor (term used loosely) PAY and Payoffs included Retirement along with medical for the senators…Let them buy it from the healthcare co-op.
Sonnys fish farm, reeds and deals new stadium.

A fully trained police officer make about as much as a fully educated teacher…whats wrong with this ….

luangtom

January 7th, 2013
11:52 pm

The premise behind the Second Amendment was to level the field between the citizenry and the government so that it would not be one of tyranny. It is not about hunting, it is not about target-shooting. It is about keeping the government at bay and not making the citizens subjects.

So, yes, let the administrators that wish to be further trained and versed in defensive-shooting be able to do so. It will save children’s lives if a perpetrator wishes to confront said administrator when he or she knows it is no longer a “gun-free zone”. The incident years ago in Pearl, MS, had the perpetrator being held at bay by a school administrator, after he had retrieved his firearm from his vehicle. Where was the media reporting on that incident? It certainly was not as wide of coverage as we see when unarmed people cower to the fear of an armed intruder. Yes, get such laws on the books and let those that so choose be able to be trained and armed in our schools.

Eli

January 8th, 2013
12:18 am

Luangtom, the second amendment was never about leveling a playing field. That is what elections are for. We were not expected to have a standing military and militias were vital for protecting our borders from the British, the Spanish, the French, and the native populations. Our founders did not create a democratic-republic so morons with their little guns could.just overthrow it when they have a tantrum. We are the government. If your ideas are so far out of the mainstream that you think armed rebellion was at all considered appropriate perhaps you should move to a third world country (where spending and welfare don’t exist and taxes are at rock bottom rates and militaries are privatized and government regulation does not exist).

Your little theory, which is espoused on the radio regularly, does not withstand even the moat basic tests of history. Not only did no one make that argument at.the convention, there are two historic rebellions that quickly demonstrated your notion to have been false. The whiskey rebels and shay’s insurrectionists were quickly and decisively shut down…the were made an examples that the second amendment was not about leveling any armed playing field.

For the sake of argument, let’s play with it for a moment. Will you ar15 take out a tank or an f18? Nope. Even if your idea was valid, which it isn’t, it would no longer apply anyways.

For every gun that is sold a dollar (minimum) is donated to the nra. The nra is not a civil liberties org. They want you believing this nonsense and that liberals just want to take your guns away so you will buy more. They are an industrial lobbying group that has scared the uneducated/unreasonable into doing their work from the grassroots level. When school shootings happen LaPierre does not see injustice and bloodshed…he sees dollar signs and opportunity. His best friend is the sucker who becomes a gun collector out of “self defense” without realizing he has only two hands.

Eli

January 8th, 2013
12:38 am

Also, regarding Shays rebellion, the founders were so apalled by that attempt that they recognized the inadequacies of the articles of confederation so to provide an energetic executive who could respond to such situations…because we use elections to change government, not guns.

You people should study…turn off the radio and Fox News and get smart for a change.

Must Issue Permits...NO to training

January 8th, 2013
12:55 am

So do the same thing with the schools! Let any of ‘em carry, trained and stable, or not. Even the blustery P.E. majors working as coaches and rallying school hatred for the next big ball game rivalry…maybe they’re good stressfire shooters.

Unlike Georgia hunters, who must have a safety class to get a license, any cracked goober (male or female) can get a concealed carry permit. So letting a bunch of school board locals designate any other bunch of locals on school payroll (unless they are felons) carry guns–presumably with no training, as none is required to carry concealed in Georgia– isn’t much of a legislative reach.

The big question: how much ammo they can have in their magazines? Should we limit it? Duck hunters are held to three shots, so maybe we can give school kids the same odds when they’re being shot at…

What an absurd proposed law.

mike

January 8th, 2013
4:48 am

This is great. Guns in schools to protect one of the lowest educational systems in the country.

Attack Dog

January 8th, 2013
5:26 am

Dixiecans are teacher-haters but want them to have guns? WOW!

Attack Dog

January 8th, 2013
5:29 am

If the NRA is so pro-teacher-having-guns, why don’t their benefactors simply put they money where their mouth is, and pay the $67 billion for it.

BitterEXdemocrackkk

January 8th, 2013
5:42 am

Get YOUR children OUT of government screwls and stop worrying about their safety!

Won't fund schools but will arm them

January 8th, 2013
5:43 am

So, Pastor Battles won’t vote for funding schools but he has no problem arming them? a good ole Southern Baptist.

Buckhead Boy

January 8th, 2013
7:01 am

Given that credible research suggests that homes with a gun are two to three times more likely to experience a firearm death than homes without guns, and that members of those households are 18 times more likely to be the victim than intruders, is it not reasonable to conclude that the introduction of firearms into the school environment may yield similar outcomes?

honested

January 8th, 2013
7:52 am

Yet another screwball plan to avoid adequate educational funding to reduce class sizes.

I guess the intent is to make schools a fearful place where nobody wants to be.

Marlboro Man

January 8th, 2013
8:10 am

Sooner or later guns will be banned.

Jen Falk

January 8th, 2013
8:59 am

The fact that this idea got any traction at all is frightening.

Pete

January 8th, 2013
9:00 am

The right wing will not be happy until every man, woman, and child is packing heat. Forget the fact that a gun in the home is much, much more likely to be involved in an accidental shooting of someone in the home or in a suicide than for protection.

Lynn43

January 8th, 2013
9:00 am

As a School Board member, I will never vote to allow administrators or anyone except SROs to carry a gun, and, if necessary, I think I can persuade the others as I am the senior member of the Board. Andy, your professed concern for our “poor babies” rings hallow. Does anyone promoting guns in schools have any idea what a school setting is like? I doubt it, but I do. I’ve spent over 60 years in schools as a student, parent, teacher, administrator, and believe me, this is NOT a good idea. I’m sure that my teachers and administrators will do whatever is necessary to protect the students, but more guns is not the answer to school safety. Guns is the answer to some peoples’ ego and testosterone explosion. Let the hate blogs begin.

Eli

January 8th, 2013
9:01 am

Enter your comments here

Road Scholar

January 8th, 2013
9:05 am

When will someone introduce a bill to allow a machine gun nest and Patriot missiles at schools? Mine fields? At what age can a child be armed…I mean the Constitution does not limit the right based on age!

As for requiring elected officials to carry, how a bout a law that lets any citizens carry a gun into state, county and city buildings?

westboro baptist church

January 8th, 2013
9:05 am

No one should try and stop mass shootings. They are God’s will and we should not interfere wiith it. Guns are not the answer. Banning abortions and the gays and the Muslims will bring our nation back into the love of God and then he will stop punishing us with school shootings and high unemployment.

td

January 8th, 2013
9:16 am

Eli

January 8th, 2013
12:18 am

You really need to educate yourself before you start falling for the progressive line:

We established however some, although not all its [self-government] important principles . The constitutions of most of our States assert, that all power is inherent in the people; that they may exercise it by themselves, in all cases to which they think themselves competent, (as in electing their functionaries executive and legislative, and deciding by a jury of themselves, in all judiciary cases in which any fact is involved,) or they may act by representatives, freely and equally chosen; that it is their right and duty to be at all times armed;
—Thomas Jefferson to John Cartwright, 1824. Memorial Edition 16:45, Lipscomb and Bergh, editors.

To suppose arms in the hands of citizens, to be used at individual discretion, except in private self-defense, or by partial orders of towns, countries or districts of a state, is to demolish every constitution, and lay the laws prostrate, so that liberty can be enjoyed by no man; it is a dissolution of the government. The fundamental law of the militia is, that it be created, directed and commanded by the laws, and ever for the support of the laws.
—John Adams, A Defence of the Constitutions of the United States 475 (1787-1788)

Before a standing army can rule, the people must be disarmed; as they are in almost every kingdom in Europe. The supreme power in America cannot enforce unjust laws by the sword; because the whole body of the people are armed, and constitute a force superior to any band of regular troops that can be, on any pretence, raised in the United States. A military force, at the command of Congress, can execute no laws, but such as the people perceive to be just and constitutional; for they will possess the power, and jealousy will instantly inspire the inclination, to resist the execution of a law which appears to them unjust and oppressive.
—Noah Webster, An Examination of the Leading Principles of the Federal Constitution (Philadelphia 1787).

[W]hereas, to preserve liberty, it is essential that the whole body of the people always possess arms, and be taught alike, especially when young, how to use them; nor does it follow from this, that all promiscuously must go into actual service on every occasion. The mind that aims at a select militia, must be influenced by a truly anti-republican principle; and when we see many men disposed to practice upon it, whenever they can prevail, no wonder true republicans are for carefully guarding against it.
—Richard Henry Lee, The Pennsylvania Gazette, Feb. 20, 1788.

Call It Like It Is

January 8th, 2013
9:16 am

It’s really a futile argument. People that have guns and carry guns will never convince anti-gunners that the 2nd amendment gives them the right to carry arms and protect themselves or their love ones. You have some on here that proclaim themselves to be historians and know exactly what our founding fathers were thinking when they came up with the 2nd amendment and its apparently not what we think it is. Interesting. I know growing up, we had policeman at our schools, who were armed. We also had rifles in our vehicles, because many of us would go hunting after school or before school. Many times staff from the school would even join us. I guess my question is what happen? Why are we having mass shootings now? Assault weapons have been around for decades and available to the public for decades. We focus so much on the inanimate object but not the real issue. In regards to teachers carrying, so what? I would say you would be real surprise by how many teachers carry anyway. Its silly to come up a law saying they cant carry, as it is saying they can.

(the other) Rodney

January 8th, 2013
9:20 am

I am a strong supporter of personal gun ownership. I grew up in a hunting family and my father taught both my sister and me at a very early age how to handle and respect a gun.

I myself have one in my house and I support the right of everyone else to have guns in their houses.

But having guns in schools, other than on the hip of a school security/resource officer, is a terrifying prospect. As much as I am pro-ownership if this ever came to a vote I would vote against it in a NY minute.

td

January 8th, 2013
9:21 am

Buckhead Boy

January 8th, 2013
7:01 am

And there are more murders committed every year by a hammer, knife or bare fist then a gun. There are more people killed every year by drunk drivers then by guns. Maybe we should address those problems before we start trying to take our guns away from us?

lynnie Gal

January 8th, 2013
9:24 am

We ask enough of our teachers and principals without asking them to murder someone with a firearm while they’re at work.

td

January 8th, 2013
9:28 am

Lynn43

January 8th, 2013
9:00 am

As a School Board member, I will never vote to allow administrators or anyone except SROs to carry a gun, and, if necessary, I think I can persuade the others as I am the senior member of the Board. Andy, your professed concern for our “poor babies” rings hallow. Does anyone promoting guns in schools have any idea what a school setting is like? I doubt it, but I do. I’ve spent over 60 years in schools as a student, parent, teacher, administrator, and believe me, this is NOT a good idea. I’m sure that my teachers and administrators will do whatever is necessary to protect the students, but more guns is not the answer to school safety. Guns is the answer to some peoples’ ego and testosterone explosion. Let the hate blogs begin.

Well why don’t you make those statements public and let us see if the constituents you represent believe the same and put you back on the board in the next election cycle.

td

January 8th, 2013
9:31 am

lynnie Gal

January 8th, 2013
9:24 am

We ask enough of our teachers and principals without asking them to murder someone with a firearm while they’re at work.

I bet that poor principal at Sandy Hook would have really liked to have been armed the day that crazy killer walked into her school. She attempted to disarm the killer with no gun and got killed for her efforts. How many lives might she had saved if she would have been armed?

Just a taxpayer

January 8th, 2013
9:45 am

Wow. Georgia is becoming a fascist state. Don’t spend $ on adequate mental health services; place police throughout our communities – rationalize fear in order to create the police state. Bad, knee-jerk politics. And for the neocons out there, I don’t favor gun control.

Skip

January 8th, 2013
10:04 am

Why should students not have the right to defend themselves? Jr’s and Seniors should be allowed to cary.

Rafe Hollister

January 8th, 2013
10:21 am

I can see it now, this bill passes and the AJC prints a map of the schools that allow their administrators to carry weapons. Anti-gun parents will then freak out and withdraw their children. Pro Second Amendment people will be moving to get their children in secure schools. Should be good for economic activity.

Michelle-Middle School

January 8th, 2013
11:13 am

This is a knee jerk reaction to a terrible tragedy. The proof of the situation is that the school in Connecticut was a perfect example of a school with a series of procedures that were in place and, without question, worked to save hundreds of lives. The lock down procedures work.

I absolutely disagree with arming school administrators. If you look at many of the schools I have been in, you would think twice about arming the administrators. I guarantee you that arming the administrators at my last school would be a disaster. It takes a special person to handle a weapon correctly. Arming reluctant school administrators could easily result in a shoot out that would be more dangerous than anything we have ever seen in schools. Most administrators in elementary and middle schools are women, many of whom would be reluctant handling a weapon, and wouldn’t even want the responsibility.

Just another DUMB idea by idiotic legislators to make themselves feel good about coming up with a knee jerk idea without considering any consequences to their ideas. Get the legislator out of the education business and let the school systems come up with recommendations. God help our students!