Sen. Dennis Baxley (R) filed Senate Bill 1236, that would allow concealed weapon or firearms licensees designated by school principals or district school superintendents to carry on school property or other specified areas. Designees would be required to undergo a level 2 background screening, complete a minimum of 40 hours of a school safety program and annually complete 8 hours of active shooter training and 4 hours of firearm proficiency training administered by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. The designated carriers would be required to carry the weapon concealed.
The bill titled “School Safety, also requires district school boards to formulate and prescribe policies and procedures for active shooter and hostage situations. It also requires district school superintendents to provide specified agencies with certain strategy and activity recommendations to improve school safety and security.
An identical bill HB 621, has been filed in the Florida House of Representatives, by Representatives Bob Rommel (R) and Jason Fischer (R).
The legislation states:
“It is the intent of the Legislature to prevent violent crimes from occurring on school grounds. The legislature acknowledges that the safekeeping of our students, teachers, and campuses is imperative. In addition, the Legislature’s intent is not to mandate that a school or administration building have one or more designees as described in the amendments made by this act to s. 790.115, Florida Statutes, but to allow the school principal or district school superintendent the opportunity to designate one or more such designees…The term “school” means any preschool, elementary school, middle school, junior high school, secondary school, career center, or postsecondary school, whether public or nonpublic.”
This legislation applies to a school employee or volunteer who has been designated by his or her school principal, or, for an administration building, a district employee or volunteer who has been designated by his or her district school superintendent, as authorized to carry a concealed weapon or firearm on school property.
According to the legislation:
- A designee authorized to carry a concealed weapon or firearm on such school property under this subsection may only carry such weapon or firearm in a concealed manner. The weapon or firearm must be carried on the designee’s person at all times while the designee is performing his or her official school duties.
- The designee must submit to the authorizing school principal or district school superintendent proof of completion of a minimum of 40 hours of a school safety program and annually complete 8 hours of active shooter training and 4 hours of firearm proficiency training as the program and these trainings are defined and administered by the Department of Law Enforcement. For purposes of this subsection, a designee is an individual who is:
- A veteran of the United States Armed Forces who was honorably discharged and who has not been found to have committed a firearms-related disciplinary infraction during his or her military service;
- An active duty member of the United States Armed Forces, the Florida National Guard, or the United States Reserve Forces who has not been found to have committed a firearms-related disciplinary infraction during his or her military service;
- A current or former law enforcement officer who has not been found to have committed a firearms-related disciplinary infraction during his or her law enforcement service; or
- In possession of a valid permit under s. 790.06.
(b) School principals and district school superintendents may create a school safety program for school employees or volunteers. Each school principal, or, for an administration building, the district school superintendent, may designate one or more designees who have provided proof of completion of training as created by the Criminal Justice Standards and Training Commission and administered and certified by the Criminal Justice Training Center. The school principal or district school superintendent must require volunteers to undergo level 2 background screening pursuant to s. 435.04 before being designated and every 5 years thereafter and may require additional screening for all designees.”
Florida Constitution, Article 1, Section 2:
“Basic rights.—All natural persons, female and male alike, are equal before the law and have inalienable rights, among which are the right to enjoy and defend life and liberty…”
Florida Constitution, Article I, Section 8:
“The right of the people to keep and bear arms in defense of themselves and of the lawful authority of the state shall not be infringed, except that the manner of bearing arms may be regulated by law.”