Bill Would Allow School Administrators in Georgia to Carry Guns

State Rep. Paul Battles, R-Cartersville, has introduced legislation that would give school systems in Georgia the option of arming and training an administrator in each school. The session starts Jan. 14.

Updated Wednesday, 8 a.m.

Bartow Schools Superintendent John Harper, who expressed concern about limited security across a big school district, prompted Battles to file the legislation, The Daily Tribune News reports. Bartow's is the 24th largest school system in the state with 19 schools and the Bartow County Learning Center, according to its Facebook page and website.

School administrators who would carry guns, if the bill passes, would be required to undergo law enforcement training, pass a background check and get a permit.

Original Report

As states and communities across the country try to think of ways to prevent another shooting like Sandy Hook in Newtown, CT, a local lawmaker has introduced legislation that would allow school administrators to carry a gun.

Introduced by State Rep. Paul Battles, R-Cartersville, the proposed amendment to firearms statutes would allow boards of education the option of arming and training administrators for each school in the system.

Designated administrators would be allowed to carry firearms within a school safety zone or school building, at a school function, or on school property or on a bus or other transportation furnished by the school, according to the bill, attached.

Battles told the Atlanta Journal-Constititution he'd rather see an armed police officer in each school, but it cost too much.

"We went through the discussion process of even possibly deputizing some of the administrators," Battles said, according to the AJC. "We had long discussions about different approaches. We came up with what I feel is the cleanest, most appropriate way for school systems to deal with their inability to provide security."

The 2013 legislative session starts Jan. 14.

What do you think of Battle's proposal? Tell us in the comments.

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Gloria Ellsworth January 08, 2013 at 11:24 PM
no guns in school period!
Thom71GT January 09, 2013 at 12:32 PM
Think about it, before you oppose it. They aren't talking about arming unqualified individuals- they would more than likely already have an individual who already has a permit to carry. If there had been at least ONE designated person in Sandy Hook with a weapon, I guarantee there would not have been nearly as many lives lost.
Gatewood2002 January 09, 2013 at 01:50 PM
In a September 2003 photo, Sullivan Co. Sheriff Dept. officer Carolyn Gudger is the school resource officer and is shown outside Sullivan Central High School in Blountville, Tenn. Gudger was the resource officer who first confronted Thomas Richard Cowan who had two handguns with him as he entered the school on August 30, 2010. A local schools official said Tuesday that a school resource officer, staff members and students at Sullivan Central High school reacted "phenomenally well" to a gun-wielding man who was later shot and killed by sheriff's deputies. Thomas Richard Cowan, 62, was killed at the school in Blountville after he pointed a loaded pistol at the principal's head and refused a command to drop the gun. No one else was hurt. NOTICE "NO ONE ELSE WAS HURT" DO YOU HEAR CNN, CNBC, ABC, CBS MAKING REFERANCE TO IT? NO! Because it defies their argument of safefy and exposes their true motive to disarm the American people.
Gail Engelhardt January 09, 2013 at 04:40 PM
The proposed bill by State Rep. Paul Battles from the 15th Dist. here in Bartow makes perfect sense. The safety of our children should be first and foremost. Although many people I've talked to wanted professional police officers or guards for the schools, that might be cost prohibitive, but arming a principal or another qualified person within the school is the next best thing. That person would be trained properly and be continually trained in the process. It has been proven that banning guns does not stop someone bent on killing others. They will find a way illegally to obtain a gun, knife, explosive material or whatever to commit their despicable crimes against innocent children or adults. We must protect our children, and it is also proven that those that are mentally deranged who commit such crimes, are not so crazy to perform their carnage where they know people might be armed. However, most mass killings do happen where it is known no one is armed. In other words, places that are known to be gun free zones like school, some theaters, or churches etc. Isn't that interesting? I commend State Rep. Paul Battles and the others he has worked with in State government to propose this Legislation be enacted in the new term. Good Job! Gail Engelhardt, Director of The Bartow County Tea Party.
Alex Mason January 09, 2013 at 06:33 PM
Gail, thanks for your post. I have a question, however. You and Rep. Battles suggest that police officers and/or guards for the schools would be cost prohibitive, and that armed administrators is the next best thing. Why do we have to accept that it is cost prohibitive? If their is no room in the budget, perhaps we as a community would be willing to pay the relatively small additional taxes required to furnish a full time officer in each school - I know I would. Do you not believe that the increased quality of protection is worth the extra cost? Another question I have regarding the bill is with regards to transparency. Will it be public knowledge which schools have armed administrators? I would think that many parents would have serious reservations about sending their child to a school with guns on campus. Many people feel that putting guns in the hands of administrators would make schools more dangerous. I have a very hard time understanding how a school administrator could keep a firearm secure on a school bus, as permitted by the proposed legislation. On the flip side, some parents may want to seek out schools where the principle is packin'. Obviously we have some philosophical differences, and we also are applying a different set of logic to the problem. We each have our assumptions, and unfortunately the evidence out there is anecdotal at best. Sincerely, Alex


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