Senate Democrats on Monday evening killed a Republican-sponsored bill that would permit each of the state's local school districts to make its own decisions about allowing "concealed carry" by teachers and other qualified personnel. By a three to two party-line vote, Democrats on the Senate Judiciary committee voted to deny school districts the authority to make their own decisions regarding the safety of their students.
"In my 12 years in the General Assembly, I have seen dozens of votes that obstruct local control of schools, but that vote has to be the most indefensible by far," said Senator Ted Harvey, author and cosponsor of Senate Bill 13-009. "Some rural districts don’t have the luxury of having a police presence nearby. We need to give trained teachers the right to protect their children and their classrooms in the event that an armed shooter is in one of their schools.”
After five hours of public testimony, Republican Senators supported the bill, SB 13-009, while Democrats voted to kill it.
The bill's other Republican cosponsor, Sen. Scott Renfroe, expressed frustration over the Democrats' action. "Today we heard from teachers, school board members and parents asking us to give their school boards the power to debate this matter and adopt concealed carry policies based on the desires of the local community. But the Democrats on this committee voted no. It is disappointing that they have so little respect for local, citizen control."