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Thread: Texas school district may allow concealed carry

  1. #1
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    If anyone can figure out how to send a correction you may want to let the author know that the ENTIRE State of Utah allows school employees and parents (and any other adult with legit reason to be at the school) with permits to carry firearms as well. And we've been doing so for several years. But good news nonetheless to see some common sense.

    Charles

    http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,404721,00.html

    A tiny Texas school district may be the first in the nation to allow teachers and staff to pack heat when classes begin later this month.
    Trustees at the Harrold Independent School District approved a district policy change last October so employees can carry concealed firearms to deter and protect against school shootings, provided the gun-toting teachers follow certain requirements.
    Superintendent David Thweatt told FOXNews.com the policy was initiated because of safety concerns.
    "We have had employees assaulted before by people in the last several years," Thweatt said. "I think that safety is big concern. We are seeing a lot of anger in society."
    He wouldn't comment further on the nature of the assaults.
    The Texas superintendent linked gun-free zones with the uprising of school shootings in recent years.
    "When you make schools gun-free zones, it's like inviting people to come in and take advantage," Thweatt told FOXNews.com.
    In order for teachers and staff to carry a pistol, they must have a Texas license to carry a concealed handgun; must be authorized to carry by the district; must receive training in crisis management and hostile situations and must use ammunition that is designed to minimize the risk of ricochet in school halls.
    /**/ Thweatt said the small community is a 30-minute drive from the sheriff's office, leaving students and teachers without protection. He said the district's lone campus sits 500 feet from heavily trafficked U.S. 287, which could make it a target.
    The kindergarten through 12th grade school district is home to 110 students.
    Thweatt said officials researched the policy and considered other options for about a year before approving the policy change. He said the district also has various other security measures in place to prevent a school shooting.
    "The naysayers think [a shooting] won't happen here," Thweatt said. "If something were to happen here, I'd much rather be calling a parent to tell them that their child is OK because we were able to protect them."
    He told FOXNews.com he doesn't think students will think twice about the new policy.
    "I hope they forget all about it," he said. "We want them to pay attention [to their school work]."
    Texas law outlaws firearms on school campuses "unless pursuant to the written regulations or written authorization of the institution."
    It was unclear how many of the 50 or so teachers and staff members will be armed this fall because Thweatt did not disclose that information, to keep it from students or potential attackers.
    Wilbarger County Sheriff Larry Lee did not immediately return a call placed to his office by FOXNews.com.
    Barbara Williams, a spokeswoman for the Texas Association of School Boards, said her organization did not know of another district with such a policy. Ken Trump, a Cleveland-based school security expert who advises districts nationwide, including in Texas, said Harrold is the first district with such a policy.
    The district is 150 miles northwest of Fort Worth on the eastern end of Wilbarger County, near the Oklahoma border.
    FOXNews.com's Michelle Maskaly and the Associated Press contributed to this report.
    All experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. Thank heaven we do not permit a few to impose anarchy.

    "With Anarchy as an aim and as a means, Communism becomes possible."
    --Marxist.org

    "Communism and Anarchy [are], a necessary complement to one another. "
    --PETER KROPOTKIN, "Anarchism: its philosophy and ideal." 1898.

  2. #2
    State Researcher Kevin Jensen's Avatar
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    utbagpiper wrote:
    If anyone can figure out how to send a correction you may want to let the author know that the ENTIRE State of Utah allows school employees and parents (and any other adult with legit reason to be at the school) with permits to carry firearms as well. And we've been doing so for several years. But good news nonetheless to see some common sense.
    Done. Here is the email I sent her.

    Michelle,

    I am writing you concerning the following story.

    http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,404721,00.html

    Here is the first line from that story...

    "A tiny Texas school district may be the first in the nation to allow teachers and staff to pack heat when classes begin later this month."

    I just wanted you to know that this school district in Texas will not be the first in the nation to allow the faculty to legally posses firearms in a school. I am a resident of Utah, and our state allows persons with a concealed firearm permit to carry a firearm in any public school in Utah, concealed or openly. This is not limited to faculty, this applies to any person with a concealed firearm permit issued from any state or county. The University of Utah held the belief that they were exempt from this law, and banned the possession firearms. In 2002, they sued Utah's Attorney General over this issue, and the Utah Supreme Court ruled that public schools in Utah must abide by state law, and may not regulate the possession of firearms in any manner. Here is a link so you can read more on this issue.

    http://attorneygeneral.utah.gov/275.html

    Here is the Utah Code that expressly allows the possession of lawfully carried firearms in Utah's public schools.

    53-5a-102. Uniform firearm laws.


    (1) The individual right to keep and bear arms being a constitutionally protected right under Article I, Section 6 of the Utah Constitution, the Legislature finds the need to provide uniform civil and criminal firearm laws throughout the state.
    (2) Except as specifically provided by state law, a local authority or state entity may not:
    (a) prohibit an individual from owning, possessing, purchasing, selling, transferring, transporting, or keeping a firearm at the individual's place of residence, property, business, or in any vehicle lawfully in the individual's possession or lawfully under the individual's control; or
    (b) require an individual to have a permit or license to purchase, own, possess, transport, or keep a firearm.
    (3) In conjunction with Title 76, Chapter 10, Part 5, Weapons, this section is uniformly applicable throughout this state and in all its political subdivisions and municipalities.
    (4) All authority to regulate firearms is reserved to the state except where the Legislature specifically delegates responsibility to local authorities or state entities.
    (5) Unless specifically authorized by the Legislature by statute, a local authority or state entity may not enact, establish, or enforce any ordinance, regulation, rule, or policy pertaining to firearms that in any way inhibits or restricts the possession or use of firearms on either public or private property.
    (6) As used in this section:
    (a) "firearm" has the same meaning as defined in Subsection 76-10-501(9); and
    (b) "local authority or state entity" includes public school districts, public schools, and state institutions of higher education.
    (7) Nothing in this section restricts or expands private property rights.

    I am asking that a correction to be made to your story, that this Texas school district is not the pioneers that they have been made out to be. I would also like to add that the possession of firearms in colleges is not prohibited in all states. Here is a map of the states that have no statute against lawful firearm possession in a college.

    http://www.opencarry.com/college.html

    Thank You,

    SGT Kevin Jensen
    Utah State Researcher,
    http://www.opencarry.org


    "An armed society is a polite society. Manners are good when one may have to back up his acts with his life." Robert A. Heinlein

  3. #3
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    utbagpiper wrote:
    If anyone can figure out how to send a correction you may want to let the author know that the ENTIRE State of Utah allows school employees and parents (and any other adult with legit reason to be at the school) with permits to carry firearms as well. And we've been doing so for several years. But good news nonetheless to see some common sense.

    Charles

    http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,404721,00.html

    A tiny Texas school district may be the first in the nation to allow teachers and staff to pack heat when classes begin later this month.
    Trustees at the Harrold Independent School District approved a district policy change last October so employees can carry concealed firearms to deter and protect against school shootings, provided the gun-toting teachers follow certain requirements.
    Superintendent David Thweatt told FOXNews.com the policy was initiated because of safety concerns.
    "We have had employees assaulted before by people in the last several years," Thweatt said. "I think that safety is big concern. We are seeing a lot of anger in society."
    He wouldn't comment further on the nature of the assaults.
    The Texas superintendent linked gun-free zones with the uprising of school shootings in recent years.
    "When you make schools gun-free zones, it's like inviting people to come in and take advantage," Thweatt told FOXNews.com.
    In order for teachers and staff to carry a pistol, they must have a Texas license to carry a concealed handgun; must be authorized to carry by the district; must receive training in crisis management and hostile situations and must use ammunition that is designed to minimize the risk of ricochet in school halls.
    /**/ Thweatt said the small community is a 30-minute drive from the sheriff's office, leaving students and teachers without protection. He said the district's lone campus sits 500 feet from heavily trafficked U.S. 287, which could make it a target.
    The kindergarten through 12th grade school district is home to 110 students.
    Thweatt said officials researched the policy and considered other options for about a year before approving the policy change. He said the district also has various other security measures in place to prevent a school shooting.
    "The naysayers think [a shooting] won't happen here," Thweatt said. "If something were to happen here, I'd much rather be calling a parent to tell them that their child is OK because we were able to protect them."
    He told FOXNews.com he doesn't think students will think twice about the new policy.
    "I hope they forget all about it," he said. "We want them to pay attention [to their school work]."
    Texas law outlaws firearms on school campuses "unless pursuant to the written regulations or written authorization of the institution."
    It was unclear how many of the 50 or so teachers and staff members will be armed this fall because Thweatt did not disclose that information, to keep it from students or potential attackers.
    Wilbarger County Sheriff Larry Lee did not immediately return a call placed to his office by FOXNews.com.
    Barbara Williams, a spokeswoman for the Texas Association of School Boards, said her organization did not know of another district with such a policy. Ken Trump, a Cleveland-based school security expert who advises districts nationwide, including in Texas, said Harrold is the first district with such a policy.
    The district is 150 miles northwest of Fort Worth on the eastern end of Wilbarger County, near the Oklahoma border.
    FOXNews.com's Michelle Maskaly and the Associated Press contributed to this report.
    I sent an e-mail explaining this, along with a link to this thread to the Drudge Report, which is where I first saw the story,



    Tarzan

  4. #4
    State Researcher Kevin Jensen's Avatar
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    Here is her reply, only nine minutes later!

    Thanks.

    That part of the story was actually from the Associated Press story. We will clarify. Thanks much.

    Michelle

    "An armed society is a polite society. Manners are good when one may have to back up his acts with his life." Robert A. Heinlein

  5. #5
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    SGT Jensen wrote:
    Here is her reply, only nine minutes later!
    Way to get that taken care of.

    Thanks. That part of the story was actually from the Associated Press story. We will clarify. Thanks much. Michelle
    You think they will print a correction for us?

  6. #6
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    Do districts in Utah actually allow teachers to carry? I know they can legally, but is it a violation of terms of employment if they do?

    Kind of like the company I work for. Sure I can carry legally, but they can fire me if I choose to.

    That could be what that line meant...

  7. #7
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    ScottyT wrote:
    Do districts in Utah actually allow teachers to carry? I know they can legally, but is it a violation of terms of employment if they do?

    Kind of like the company I work for. Sure I can carry legally, but they can fire me if I choose to.

    That could be what that line meant...
    Teachers CAN carry BUT are suggested NOT to. They can legally do so with a CFP.

    They CANNOT be fired for doing so as far as I understand.



    TJ

  8. #8
    State Researcher Kevin Jensen's Avatar
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    ScottyT wrote:
    Do districts in Utah actually allow teachers to carry? I know they can legally, but is it a violation of terms of employment if they do?
    I think they are covered under Utah's preemption. Public schools are state entities and may not regulate the possession of firearms.

    53-5a-102. Uniform firearm laws.
    (6) (b) "local authority or state entity" includes public school districts, public schools, and state institutions of higher education
    "An armed society is a polite society. Manners are good when one may have to back up his acts with his life." Robert A. Heinlein

  9. #9
    State Researcher
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    ScottyT wrote:
    Do districts in Utah actually allow teachers to carry? I know they can legally, but is it a violation of terms of employment if they do?

    Kind of like the company I work for. Sure I can carry legally, but they can fire me if I choose to.

    That could be what that line meant...
    yes they do. They have no choice under Utah's State preemption law.

    If you can a copy of employment or conduct policies for any of the major school districts you will see a section dealing with employee possession of weapons. In most cases it requires teachers to retain control and to keep the presence of the weapon secret (IE CC rather than OC). While the latter is probably a violation of preemption, it is also a good idea, IMO, and nobody has pressed that issue.

    Now, what gets said to teachers privately, what pressures might be brought to bear, I don't know. But I do know of at least a couple of government school teachers who carry, are widely assumed to be carrying, and who have never had any grief from their employers over it.

    Charles
    All experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. Thank heaven we do not permit a few to impose anarchy.

    "With Anarchy as an aim and as a means, Communism becomes possible."
    --Marxist.org

    "Communism and Anarchy [are], a necessary complement to one another. "
    --PETER KROPOTKIN, "Anarchism: its philosophy and ideal." 1898.

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