"Since the creation of California concealed carry permit in 1923, there have been zero incidents on school grounds involving CCW holders," said Craig DeLuz, spokesman for the Firearms Policy Coalition. "One has to wonder why there is a need to remove such authority, given that SB 707 has been in effect for little more than a year.
via The Visaiia Times - Delta
Prior to January 2016, anyone with a valid California concealed weapons permit had the right to walk onto a school, college, or university campus with a handgun. In most cases, no one knew.
Lawmakers are working to end that.
California lawmakers approved Assembly Bill 424, which will update California’s Gun Free School Zones law to make schools truly "gun free." The bill was introduced by Assemblyman Kevin McCarty (D-Sacramento).
The measure was approved 43-23.
“A safe learning environment is essential for our children to be successful in the classroom,” said McCarty. “That’s not possible if a school district allows armed civilians to roam California school campuses. [The] approval of AB 424 by the State Assembly is the latest example of California leading the nation’s efforts to reduce gun violence and keep guns out of our schools.”
AB 424 follows Senate Bill 707, which passed in 2015. That law made it a crime to carry a firearm in a school zone unless the person had written permission from the district superintendent.
Most local districts debated the pros and cons and ultimately voted to ban guns on campuses, except for school resource officers.
A number of California school districts including Folsom Cordova Unified, Kingsburg Joint Union, Anderson Union, and Kern Unified schools voted to authorize some CCW holders.
The newest bill would cancel their votes.
Assemblyman Devon Mathis (R-Visalia) voted against the measure saying it was "complete nonsense."
"You're taking away the ability to protect our children," he said. "People with CCWs are trained and schools are already soft targets."
The assemblyman went on to say that a "gun-free zone" will not stop shooters from opening fire on campuses.
Those who oppose AB 424 feel there is no need for the bill with SB 707 already in place. Additionally, many feel that a "gun-free zone" is unattainable.
Scott James, a local gun dealer and CCW instructor, said that schools can never achieve a "sterile environment," saying schools will never be like an airport.
"You can't provide that at schools," James said. "The idea of a gun-free zone, in my opinion, isn't possible."
Until schools can provide a truly gun-free zone, CCW holders should be allowed to carry on campus, he added.
You're going to come out with laws that stop law-abiding citizens with concealed guns on school campuses," he said. "You can't provide a secure area on a campus like you can an airport."
James holds CCW training throughout the year and has trained several teachers on active-shooter scenarios.
"All CCW training is the same. We add more to it if it's a specific type of carry," he said.
Applicants are required four hours of classroom time. It takes roughly four months to get approved for a CCW, which is valid for two years.
"Since the creation of California concealed carry permit in 1923, there have been zero incidents on school grounds involving CCW holders," said Craig DeLuz, spokesman for the Firearms Policy Coalition. "One has to wonder why there is a need to remove such authority, given that SB 707 has been in effect for little more than a year."
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