HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – Pennsylvania State Senator and Republican gubernatorial nominee Doug Mastriano says he plans to introduce legislation that would allow school employees to be armed while on campus.
Mastriano, who serves on the State Education Committee, says the “recent tragedy un Uvalde” where 19 students and two teachers were killed by a gunman led to his planned legislation.
Mastriano released a statement on Tuesday asking legislators to co-sponsor his proposal.
After the recent tragedy in Uvalde, I will be introducing a bill to enhance the safety of children and staff while on school property.
“I plan to introduce a bill that will allow school employees who possess a valid Pennsylvania concealed carry permit to be armed while on school property. An employee who wishes to carry a firearm on school property will also be required to complete a rigorous firearms course from a certified instructor with a signed certificate showing completion of a training and proficiency course for the firearm the employee intends to carry on school grounds.
Presently, 28 states make it clear in statute that teachers or school staff can be armed while on school property. Pennsylvania is not one of them.
Mass murderers are often attracted to “soft targets” where they know victims are not armed. According to the Crime Prevention Resource Center, there has not been a single mass shooting in a school where staff were clearly allowed to carry a firearm.
Please consider joining me as a co-sponsor to protect our classrooms.”Doug Mastriano
Mastriano’s proposed legislation comes days after Ohio’s Governor Mike DeWine signed a bill that would allow school employees to be armed as soon as this fall.
The Ohio law, as enacted, requires up to 24 hours of training before an employee can go armed, and up to eight hours of annual training. The training programs must be approved by the Ohio School Safety Center, and DeWine announced he’s ordering the center to require the maximum 24 hours and the maximum eight hours.
In the United States Senate, a bipartisan group of Senators on Sunday announced the framework of a bipartisan response to last month’s mass shootings, a noteworthy but limited breakthrough offering modest gun curbs and stepped-up efforts to improve school safety and mental health programs.
The compromise would make the juvenile records of gun buyers under age 21 available when they undergo background checks. The agreement aksi would offer money to states to enact and put in place “red flag” laws that make it easier to temporarily take guns from people considered potentially violent, plus funds to bolster school safety and mental health programs.
The Associated Press contributed to this report