A Pennsylvania lawmaker wants to try to prevent another shooting by arming teaches with guns. On Monday, Rep. Greg Lucas (R-Erie/Crawford) announced he plans to introduce legislation in the near future that would empower teachers to protect students by enabling qualified school personnel in Pennsylvania to carry firearms on school property.
“This is about trusting our teachers to protect our students,” Lucas said. “We trust our teachers with our students’ minds. However, current law prevents them from defending our children’s bodies during an emergency situation. My law would change that.”
Current Pennsylvania law severely restricts firearms on school property.
Lucas’s bill – the “School Personnel Right to Carry Act” – would allow, but not require, teachers, principals, administrators and other school personnel to carry a firearm if they pass a three-point check system.
Teachers would have to pass the background check that is already a pre-condition for employment in the Pennsylvania School Code. The teacher also would have to pass an additional background check – including the investigation of character and reputation by their local sheriff – necessary to obtain a license to carry a firearm. In order to qualify, a teacher also would have to acquire the same certification in the use of firearms currently used by law enforcement officers.
Lucas brings a unique perspective to this issue. Nearly 15 years ago, one of his friends was shot and killed during the Parker Middle School dance shooting at Nick’s Place in Edinboro. That situation ended when the assailant, Andrew Wurst, was confronted by the restaurant’s owner, who was armed with a shotgun.
“Fifteen years of school shootings is far too many,” Lucas said. “We know what happens when we don’t enable our teachers to protect students. We have had a decade and a half of unarmed teachers and school tragedies. We cannot continue doing the same thing and expecting different results. None of us wants another set of parents to learn that their child was killed by a madman because their teacher wasn’t armed.”
A copy of the legislation is available on Lucas’s website at www.RepLucas.com.