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Senate Panel To Discuss Bill That Would Allow Armed School Employees

TALLAHASSEE (CBSMiami/NSF) – Florida's Senate Criminal Justice Committee on Monday will consider a bill that would allow school principals or superintendents to designate trained employees to carry guns on school campuses or in district administration buildings.

The bill, sponsored by Sen. Alan Hays, R-Umatilla, says principals and superintendents would not be required to designate such employees. It says the intent of the Legislature is to "prevent violent crimes from occurring on school grounds. The Legislature acknowledges that the safekeeping of our students, teachers and campuses is imperative."

An employee designated to carry a gun would have to complete a minimum of 40 hours of a school-safety program and each year complete eight hours of active-shooting training and four hours of firearms-proficiency training.

Also, such an employee would have to meet one of the following criteria: be an honorably discharged military veteran with no firearm-related disciplinary infractions; an active-duty member of the military, National Guard or reserves with no firearm-related disciplinary infractions; a current or former law-enforcement officer with no firearm-related disciplinary infractions; or have a valid concealed-weapon or firearm license.

Rep. Greg Steube, R-Sarasota, has filed a similar measure in the House.

The News Service of Florida contributed to this report.

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