LANSING (WJRT) (2/28/2018) - A state representative from Oakland County says he is working on legislation that would allow some specially trained teachers access to firearms on campus.
Republican Jim Runestad of White Lake, chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, said the bills are a direct response to the Parkland, Fla., school shooting on Feb. 14.
The legislation is designed to provide exemptions under Michigan's concealed carry laws to have access to firearms for emergency purposes in school zones, where firearms currently are restricted.
“Children are vulnerable targets in our schools and school shootings will not be stopped until our schools are secure,” said Runestad. “By the time police arrive it is usually too late. It’s time to develop model protocols for the nation here in Michigan, whereby specially trained staff who volunteer will be able to access a secured firearm in event of an emergency.”
The teachers wouldn't carry firearms all day, but just have them on hand in secured locations inside school buildings.
Runestad pointed out multiple states are currently considering options to arm teachers and staff who volunteer or piloting programs to partner with law enforcement to have administrative field offices located in schools with armed officers.
“Our children will not be secure in our schools until we have adequate defenses,” Runestad said. “This means specialty trained voluntary staff with the means to protect them, along with other security features.”
He expects the bills will be introduced to the Judiciary Committee in March.