As reported Wednesday, the anti-gun media in Missouri continues taking swings at Senate Bill 656, which was passed overwhelmingly by both the Missouri Senate and House of Representatives. Media outlets are attempting to make SB 656 into a bill that arms teachers.
SB 656 contains many Second Amendment-related issues and advances Second Amendment rights and public safety. What SB 656 does, is allow school districts to make a decision on whether or not to designate teachers and administrators as a school protection officer. In order to be designated, school personnel would be required to take Missouri’s Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) certification to become a Missouri certified police officer.
Again, these programs would not be mandatory. Each candidate to be designated as a school protection officer must undergo training, which exceeds one hundred hours. This bill also specifically states “Any teacher or administrator of an elementary or school who seeks to be designated as a school protection officer shall request such designation in writing, and submit it to the superintendent of the school district which employs him or her as a teacher or administrator.” From here, a rigorous approval process would take place, which requires the school board to conduct a public hearing on whether or not the specific teacher or administrator should be designated as a school protection officer.
Allowing school personnel who have undergone POST training will add more security options for protecting our children - but this is not a new concept. Last year, Kansas enacted House Bill 2052, legislation which included language that permits, but does not require, an employee who is licensed to carry a concealed handgun, to carry a concealed handgun in any school building.
Currently, the Right to Carry statute in Missouri allows those with a concealed carry permit to carry a firearm on school grounds with permission from the school district. This law has been on the books for 10 years.
As you can see, the anti-gun media is trying to make SB 656 into a bill arming teachers, when in reality, nothing in SB 656 would require teachers to carry a firearm. SB 656 will allow school districts to make an informed decision to allow teachers to undergo police training if they wish to carry a firearm for self-defense, or defense of their students.
Don’t let the anti-gun media make Governor Nixon’s decision on SB 656. Please contact Governor Jay Nixon today and respectfully ask him to sign SB 656 into law. His contact information is provided below.
Governor Jay Nixon: