Gov. Wolf Signing Bill Regulating and Clarifying Armed School Security

Gov. Wolf Signing Bill Regulating and Clarifying Armed School Security

Gov. Tom Wolf is signing legislation that will give school districts and private schools more options as to who they can hire as armed security guards. Teachers cannot be considered security personnel under the legislation.

Gov. Tom Wolf is signing legislation that gives school districts and private schools more options as to who they can hire as armed security guards, but clarifies who school districts can hire. Wolf’s administration says the legislation bars districts from allowing teachers to be armed.

The bill also expands training requirements for armed school officers, saying that schools can only hire armed security guards on contract if they meet certain certification standards. Furthermore, the definition of a school officer is expanded in the bill to include retired federal agents, retired state, municipal or military police officers, and retired sheriffs and deputy sheriffs.

“This bill will make training requirements for armed security stricter, more comprehensive and based on modern practices for security, trauma and other essential skills and knowledge for security personnel,” Wolf said in a statement.

Wolf also said in a statement that teachers cannot be considered security personnel, and aren’t authorized to be armed in school under any law in Pennsylvania.

There was pressure from gun control activists to veto the measure, but State Sen. Mike Regan, R-Dillsburg, who was the bill’s primary sponsor, said he believes the opposition is stems from the fact that guns would be put in schools, even if it’s for security.

According to York Dispatch, in order to carry a firearm under the new law, school security guards hired as independent contractors or through third-party vendors must complete the basic school resource officer training through the National Association of School Resource Officers or an equivalent course offered by the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency.

In addition, school security guards must be properly licensed to carry and certified under the state Lethal Weapons Training Act, and they must pass the state criminal background check required for school employees who have contract with children.

About the Author

Kaitlyn DeHaven is the Associate Content Editor for the Infrastructure Solutions Group at 1105 Media.

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    September/October 2019

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