Armed teacher sign (copy)

A sign outside Okay Public Schools informs visitors about the district’s policy of allowing teachers to be armed. ANNA CODUTTI/Tulsa World

OKLAHOMA CITY — The state Senate on Wednesday passed a bill that gives schools that want to arm teachers more options.

Passed by a 37-7 vote, House Bill 2336, by Rep. Sean Roberts, R-Hominy, and Sen. David Bullard, R-Durant, now moves to the House for consideration.

Currently, schools can allow individuals who are trained by the Council on Law Enforcement Education and Training to carry a weapon on campus, Bullard said.

The measure, as amended, would allow schools and local law enforcement entities to craft a training program for employees who would be allowed to carry a weapon, Bullard said.

“The former requirement was they had to go through CLEET to do it,” said Bullard, a former teacher. “So you have a time constraint and a money constraint.”

He said teachers may not have the time or money to go through the CLEET training.

“If we do it with local control, they will train specifically for their campus,” Bullard said. “That is also the problem with CLEET. CLEET is done at a center in Ada. I want them training on (their) campus.”

Bullard said the measure would make it easier for a teacher to get approved to carry at school. The bill does not specify the training requirements for teachers who work with local law enforcement.

“We are loosening the requirements up from CLEET,” Bullard said. “We are strengthening the resolve we have at our schools to be able to put down an active shooter situation.”

Bullard said some rural schools may not have a resource officer and the measure provides them a security option.

He said it is at the school’s discretion and not mandatory.

“It’s bad enough that some teachers in Oklahoma are able to carry guns in the classroom,” said Kay Malan, a volunteer with the Oklahoma chapter of Moms Demand Action. “But this bill makes an already risky situation so much worse. It scares me to think about the unintended tragedies that could happen if someone with minimal safety training carries a gun around my grandchildren all day long.”

Dianna Muller, of Tulsa, is founder of the DC Project, which provides information on gun rights and firearms-related subjects. Muller is a retired Tulsa police officer.

Muller supports the bill.

“You are your own first-responder,” Muller said. “And when your kids are at school, their teachers are your first-responders.”


Gallery: Bills proposed for Oklahoma’s 2020 legislative session.


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Barbara Hoberock

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barbara.hoberock

@tulsaworld.com

Twitter: @bhoberock

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