Senate passes gun bill that opens door for more school employees to carry guns

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OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) - It's legislation that would make it easier for school employees to carry firearms. It passed through the House last year, and today, the Senate put its stamp of approval on it. 

But despite its passage, Senators were locking horns on House Bill 2336.

“Is there a reason why you don’t have a minimum standard?” said Sen Kevin Matthew, (D) Tulsa.

“We have students that are vulnerable,” said Sen David Bullard, (R) Durant.

It's a piece of legislation that would authorize handgun licensees to carry on school property.

Under the current state law, a school employee can carry a firearm at school with the 72 hours of CLEET Armed Security Guard Training and with permission from the school board.

This bill would require a school employee to have the 8 hours training that is required for the standard firearm permit, along with the permission of the school board and training as required by local law enforcement.

“The worse case is you have a shooter on campus and no one there to respond. This is a much-needed step to save lives,” said Bullard.

The Senate bill co-author says 12 districts currently have school resource officers but this law would be for the smaller districts that can’t afford the personnel or training.

Senate opposition focused on the liability for an accidental shooting not on the gun holder or on the school district.

Supporters of the bill were happy as it passes the Senate 37-7.

“I think it’s a very valid option for those people who want to protect their kids,” said Diana Muller, a retired Tulsa Police Officer.

Those opposed to the bill with strong words after the vote.

“It was already decided before they walked into the room. They listened to gun extremist which is really a shame. Guns do not belong in schools, our children will not be safer with this law,” said Cacky Poarch, of Moms Demand Action.

Bringing local law enforcement training and supervision into the mix was an amendment made in the Senate. Therefore that amendment goes back to the House for approval before it would go on to the Governor’s office.

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