State Senator Bill Holtzclaw is speaking out against proposed legislation to allow teachers and administrators to be armed on school campuses.
Holtzclaw, a retired Marine, says he is a staunch supporter of the Second Amendment and concealed carry laws, but thinks arming administrators could cause more danger than anticipated.
“I want to make sure if we put someone in a situation where they may have a weapon, that they are capable of using it in a manner that it becomes an asset rather than a liability to the situation,” said Holtzclaw. “You can’t expect someone who may be put in a high threat situation to go once a year to re-qualify or go to a gun range, or go once a year for scenario driven training. That is not going to be able to allow someone to be proficient with a weapon.”
Aside from the hours of training it would take, Holzclaw raises the questions: What type of firearms and ammunition would teachers use? What happens if a child is accidentally shot instead of the attacker?
“They are all discussions we don’t want to talk about, but they need to be included in the debate if we want to talk about arming teachers.”
Out of the 43 schools in the 5 school school systems in Holtzclaw’s district, he says no one has reached out to him asking him to support Rich’s legislation. Instead, Holtzclaw says he has heard from teachers and parents pleased that he’s taken a stance against arming administrators.
Holtzclaw has proposed lawmakers instead consider increasing the presence of Student Resource Officers, who already patrol at most of the middle and high schools in his district.
“I think that’s the area we need to begin to look into, and not necessarily a huge armed presence.”
Lawmakers will convene in Montgomery in the coming weeks for meetings to discuss the proposed legislation and other options for increasing security on school campuses.