Former Teacher to Introduce Law for Arming School Personnel

Newly sworn-in PA State Rep. Greg Lucas announced that he’ll soon sponsor legislation allowing teachers and administrators to carry firearms. He is a former teacher married to a current public school teacher, and he was impacted when a friend died after being shot by a student at a school dance in 1998. He says that the body count would have been higher, but that incident was stopped by a citizen who was legally carrying his own firearm.

Reading from the co-sponsorship memo, it looks like Rep. Lucas adds slightly more conditions onto prospective school carry than simply having a concealed carry license:

In the upcoming session, I will be introducing legislation to allow school personnel to carry a gun to school if they have been licensed to carry a concealed firearm AND have a current and valid certification in the use and handling of firearms. The current and valid certification would have to be issued under one of the following:

(1) 53 Pa.C.S. Ch. 21 Subch. D (relating to municipal police education and training).
(2) The act of February 9, 1984 (P.L.3, No.2), known as the Deputy Sheriffs’ Education and Training Act.
(3) The act of October 10, 1974 (P.L.705, No.235), known as the Lethal Weapons Training Act.
(4) The act of December 13, 2005 (P.L. 432, No. 79), known as the Retired Law Enforcement Identification Act.
(5) Any other firearms program that has been determined by the Commissioner of the Pennsylvania State Police to be of sufficient scope and duration as to provide the participant with basic training in the use and handling of firearms.

Based on this, it also appears to open up the option for districts to simply utilize retired law enforcement for school security.

8 thoughts on “Former Teacher to Introduce Law for Arming School Personnel”

  1. Unless the certification classes are open to the public, the ONLY ONES who will be certified will be current and former LEOs.

    Can you clarify whether, when, and how many non-LEO PA teachers and principals can take the certification courses, what the cost of certification will be, and whether the classes will be mixed with LEOs and non-LEOs or just the school folk?

    1. No, I cannot clarify because there’s not actually a bill yet. If you read the post, I pointed out that this is planned legislation and he’s reaching out to other lawmakers before introducing it.

  2. As an Act 235 certification holder and someone who has worked in a private school, I can state that Act 235 is obtainable for just about anyone qualified to own/carry a firearm in PA in the first place. 40 hour courses for first time applicants are generally held over two weekends. You do need to get mandatory physical and mental evaluations as well as PSP fingerprinting to qualify to take the course to begin with, but it really is not a huge hurdle. The cost is usually about 300 dollars for the course itself, plus the costs of fingerprinting and applying (85 dollars or so, I kind of forget exactly), and the mental and physical exam (if you have insurance the MMPI can be done for like 50 bucks (or whatever your copay is), without about 150 -it is a long test), and a physical can be had for 50 without insurance. Total cost for me back when I had no insurance was about 600 bucks.

    1. Okay, that’s not as bad then. I was excited when I saw he proposing it, then disappointed when I read this post. But now I feel better.

      The question is will districts have to allow it? I hope they don’t have a choice. I’ll be approaching my district if this goes into law.

  3. While a part of me certainly objects to police state practices being run on schools, this is actually not objectionable to me, at least in theory. I’m not averse to slightly elevated requirements for armed teachers as opposed to average Joes, as it gives an additional layer of civil liability protection for the school district. Lets all admit that Gecko45 and his duct taped ballistic plate is not our goal for an armed guard. Maybe there could be some social effort in getting vets to get into teaching? The idea of experienced veterans, with their knowledge of rapidly evolving situations, combined with carefully selected retired officers, scattered throughout the school system and, not incidentally, scattered throughout the NEA has some merit.

  4. Every teacher should have a taser and every classroom door should have a steel plate screwed to it and a lock on the inside. That alone would reduce the number of victims before even getting into mental health and gun control issues.

    1. You know, it never really occurred to me before, but you’re right. Every single classroom I have taught in can only be locked from the outside. This wastes valuable time in an emergency, if your door is not already locked. I try to keep mine locked, but it becomes a constant source of disruption when kids have to go to the bathroom or come in late for whatever reason.

  5. I am a retired teacher. I have been a firearms instructor for 50 years. I will guard my local school every Thursday for free. But don’t put me by the door in a uniform. That would just mean that I would be shot first. Let me dress as a custodian and push a broom and empty trash cans. I would be invisible. Most schools are shot up by a kid that goes there. The students can’t know what I really am. Now we need to find four other old guys (retired cops?) for the other four days. I would pay for my own ACT 235 training. But it would be nice if the school district paid me back after I have donated a enough days of coverage.

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