Oklahoma House passes school firearms bill

The bill in the Oklahoma Legislature would allow public school teachers or administrators who successfully complete a special course to bring loaded handguns to school. The measure now is headed to the Senate.
BY MICHAEL MCNUTT mmcnutt@opubco.com Modified: March 13, 2013 at 1:04 am •  Published: March 15, 2013

The Oklahoma House of Representatives passed a bill Tuesday night that would allow public school teachers or administrators who successfully complete a special school resource officer course to bring loaded handguns to school.

House Bill 1062 passed the House 68-23 and is headed to the Senate. The bill's author, Rep. Mike McCullough, R-Sapulpa, used a parliamentary procedure to hold onto the bill and to have the emergency vote brought up again. The emergency clause, which would make the bill take effect immediately if it is signed into law, failed. McCullough said the emergency clause is essential because it would allow teachers and administrators to take the training this summer before the start of classes.

“We are facing the reality that we could have active violent threats to our schools,” McCullough said.

HB 1062 is the first Oklahoma school security measure advanced by lawmakers since the Sandy Hook massacre in December. Twenty children, ages 6 and 7, and six adults were shot and killed by Adam Lanza, in Newtown, Conn.

Its passage in the House comes a week after the Oklahoma Commission on School Safety released its legislative recommendations, which include calling for a new security tip line, mental health training for campus workers and a new state institute to continue training, research and advocacy on the issue.

House Minority Leader Scott Inman, D-Del City, tried to get the recommendations included in HB 1062, but House members failed to adopt his amendment. Inman also tried to get language added to the bill that would have increased the amount of gun training for school officials.

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