State Senate Approves Teacher Gun Training Bills
Two bills aimed at training teachers how to deal with school shooters passed the Senate last week. These bills are the result of a session-long effort to find a way to deal with the increased threat of gun violence at schools. The first bill, SB 1857 by Senator Craig Estes of Wichita Falls, would create a special training program for teachers and other school employees on how to deal with an active school shooting. The Department of Public Safety would be tasked with creating this program, which must include training in the protection of students, on how an armed concealed carry license holder should interact with the police during an active shooter situation, ways to keep intruders out of the classroom, and training to improve accuracy under duress.
The next bill would provide some funding to send district employees to concealed carry training at no cost to the district. SB 17, by Houston Senator Dan Patrick, would create a fund that would offset the training cost of up to two district employees for a concealed carry license.
Under current state law, there is no prohibition for a district employee licensed to carry a concealed firearm to come to campus armed. There are already a handful of districts in the state that have a system in place to have armed employees at schools, with more considering it.