TAMPA, Fla. (FOX 13) - School security surrounds a bill in the State Senate that would allow certain teachers to carry guns.
Currently, under a law passed last year, a school district can decide if they want non-teaching staff or teachers that hold additional responsibilities like a coach, to be armed.
A bill passed, 5-3, in the Senate Education Committee takes the law a step further and allows all qualified teachers to be armed, if they want.
The teachers would volunteer and go through training, background checks, and psychological evaluations.
The proposed legislation comes after a recent report showed armed staff could have stopped the gunman during the parkland massacre.
Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri was the chair of the Parkland Commission and is in favor of advancing the law.
"You've got to have someone there that can swiftly and effectively neutralize a threat and that means killing a killer,” Gualtieri said. “They only way you can do that is having a good guy with a gun who can take that action."
In the past, both Hillsborough and Pinellas counties have been against arming teachers. Pinellas School Board Chair Rene Flowers opposed the law last year and remains against expanding it.
“That’s not their [teachers] job and that’s not their role,” Flowers told FOX 13 Wednesday. “Our job is to educate students and we leave those other components up to professionals.”
The decision would still be left up to each school district. All five Republicans in the committee voted in favor. It’s unclear when the legislation will be brought up in the Republican-led Senate.