WASHINGTON – Missouri Republican Congresswoman Vicki Hartzler was a public school teacher before she ran for Congress.
She says students and teachers in our public schools are vulnerable to bad guys with guns.
Rep. Hartzler has proposed the “Police Officers Protecting Children Act.”
The bill would permit and encourage schools to employ armed, off duty or retired police officers to provide school security.
“We are all sitting ducks,” says Rep. Hartzler.
Rep. Hartzler says she knows how vulnerable students and teachers can be…in public schools.
“It could be up to half an hour before a sheriff’s deputy can arrive on the scene if something were to happen,
Hartzler says the best way to stop gun violence in schools is to add more guns on campus.
“But right now federal law prohibits that. Due to the Gun Free School Zones Act, which says you can’t carry a gun within a thousand feet of the school,” she adds.
Hartzler introduced the bill last year. It passed the House, but it never got a vote in the Senate.
She says this year will be more difficult now that Democrats control the House.
“Their focus seems to be on gun control and not more options to allow the schools to provide extra security,” continues Rep. Hartzler.
Missouri Republican Congressman Jason Smith says he supports the bill because it leaves the decision up to the schools.
“I don’t think the federal government should be doing from the top down. If they want to do that in West Plains, Missouri or Springfield, Missouri, they should have the right to do it,” he says.
Hartzler says extra security wouldn’t cost the schools any money because it would be solely volunteers. And she says the retired or off duty officers would also have to complete the same gun training as active duty officers.