Bill could put armed employees on private school campuses
SALISBURY — State Sen. Andrew Brock (R-Davie) introduced a bill Wednesday to allow private or church-affiliated school employees to carry concealed handguns on campus.
The measure would require armed employees or volunteers to have a concealed carry permit and be trained by a National Rifle Association instructor. A school administrator would then have to provide written consent for the employee or volunteer to carry.
“Some of the gun-free zones,” Brock said, “that’s where you see a lot of the issues. These cowards go in and shoot people in these gun-free zones.”
Brock said the bill was in response to requests from constituents, at least one of who is a minister, who he said complained about the lack of protection for those at private schools.
Many of those schools, Brock said, can’t afford to have patrolling armed security.
“Some of these private schools may be very small,” he said. “There’s no way they could afford having that type of security on campus.”
With just the possibility of armed employees, Brock said, the bill could “greatly influence” a possible gunman’s threat on campus.
“If they think someone’s carrying, they’ll quickly — it’ll alter their behavior in that situation.”
Proponents could face opposition by critics claiming the bill violates the federal Gun-Free School Zones Act.
Passed in 1996, the law defines a gun-free zone as public, parochial or private school grounds, as well as within 1,000 feet from such grounds.
If deemed in violation, schools could be subject to federal funding revocation.
Contact reporter Nathan Hardin at 704-797-4246.