Texas Bill to Allow More Armed Teachers Signed into Law

Gov. Abbott removed limits on the number of armed teachers and staff allowed on school campuses in Texas. (Photo: Chris Eger/Guns.com)

Republican Gov. Greg Abbott gave his approval last week to a measure that would allow public and private schools to use more armed teachers and staff.

The proposal, HB 1387, passed the state House 97-46 and the Senate by a 24-6 vote. Abbott, who had previously approved campus carry legislation into law for the state’s universities, signed the bill on June 6 along with others enhancing school safety and expanding access to mental health resources.

“Today, I am proud to sign legislation to make Texas schools safer for students and teachers,” said Abbott. “I thank members from both chambers, as well as the many stakeholders, who worked tirelessly to get these bills through the Legislature and to my desk today.”

Since 2013, Texas law allows public school districts and open-enrollment charter schools to appoint what are termed School Marshals from school employees. Candidates must hold a state concealed carry license, pass a psych exam and complete a mandated 80-hour course covering physical security, use of force, active shooter response, and weapon proficiency. In 2018, it was estimated there were at least 165 school marshals on the job in the state.

Previous law capped marshals at one per 200 students or one per building on campus. The new law will remove the cap and replace it with a stipulation that allows each public or private school district or governing body to appoint one or more marshals to each campus. The new law takes effect Sept. 1, just in time for the upcoming school year.

The bill was opposed by national anti-gun groups such as Everytown and Moms Demand Action.

Beyond the marshal program, schools can employ security officers and school resource officers. Schools also have the power under current law to grant written permission for anyone, including designated employees, to carry firearms on campus under what is termed a Guardian Plan. According to the Texas Association of School Boards, in most cases school districts limit such authorization to commissioned law enforcement officers.

Avatar
This article was syndicated from Guns.com Guns.com is a niche news web site that publishes original reporting on the wide range of topics within the gun world. We publish Monday through Saturday. Our approach is to explore the topic of guns through the widest lens possible, to deliver these findings as fairly and accurately as possible and to host the opinions and perspectives of our writers and readers as selflessly as possible, trying our best not to get in the way of our contributors. Our desire is to allow our writers and readers to tell their stories, no matter what the story is, as long as we believe a) it will benefit or interest gun owners and b) conforms to ethical journalistic methods and practices. Our headquarters are in Illinois but our contributors submit to us from across the United States — from Maine to California, from Texas to Alaska and every state in between.