Weekly Spotlight 4/14/23 – 4/20/23
Real Solutions to Strengthen Security and Protect Innocent Lives
In the days after the tragic murders at the Covenant School in Nashville and Old National Bank in Louisville, some lawmakers in Washington have stepped up with concrete solutions that will make an impactful difference to strengthen public safety and protect innocent lives. Unlike the cacophony of calls for “universal background checks” and bans on so-called “assault weapons,” several lawmakers in the U.S. House of Representatives introduced legislation that will actually make public places safer while honoring the rights of law-abiding gun owners.
Last Thursday, Representative Thomas Massie (KY-04), alongside 20 other House colleagues, introduced the Safe Students Act, which would repeal the Gun-Free School Zones Act of 1990. According to his website, the Safe Students Act would eliminate the blanket ban on guns in public school zones passed by Congress more than three decades ago and empower state and local entities, like school boards, to set their own policies regarding firearms.
“Gun-free zones are ineffective and make our schools less safe. Since 1950, 94 percent of mass public shootings have occurred in places where citizens are banned from having guns… Banks, churches, sports stadiums, and many of my colleagues in Congress are protected with firearms. Yet children inside the classroom are too frequently left vulnerable,” Rep. Massie said in a press release introducing the bill.
Both the Covenant School in Nashville and the Old National Bank in Louisville are gun-free zones, the former having reportedly been targeted for its lack of armed security. And employees of Old National Bank are expressly prohibited from carrying a firearm or they may face termination. It’s obvious that gun-free zones, especially when publicly advertised as such, create easy targets for violent criminals. The Safe Students Act takes direct aim at this vulnerability and would protect innocent people.
Other bills introduced over the past week include one from Rep. Mike Garcia (CA-27) to redirect unused COVID-19 funding toward enhancing school security measures, including hiring armed security. And Rep. Chuck Fleischmann (TN-03) introduced a bill that would create a grant program that would incentivize states and local school boards to train and hire veterans and former police officers as school safety officers.
At the USCCA-FSL, we know that everyone is safer when they’re in the vicinity of a responsible gun owner who is carrying. We’ve seen countless examples of this – there are 156 examples of defensive gun use in 2023 alone. This is especially true when we directly task responsible gun owners with protecting the most vulnerable among us, like our school-aged children.
We cannot prevent violent criminals from breaking the law and seeking to harm others, but we can implement real solutions that deter and prevent them from hurting innocent people.
OTHER NEWS YOU MAY HAVE MISSED
- WYFF (South Carolina): SC Senate To Take Up Bill Allowing For Constitutional Carry
South Carolina lawmakers are considering whether to allow gun owners to carry a firearm without a permit. A bill allowing for what is being called Constitutional Carry passed the House back in February. Last week, a Senate Subcommittee heard testimony from law enforcement on a similar bill in the Senate. The House Bill’s main sponsor, Upstate Rep. Bobby Cox, said the goal is to give families the option to protect themselves without having to get a permit. South Carolinians can still get the training they need, but they don’t need a permission slip to exercise that right,” he told the Associated Press.
- ABC-WGNO (Louisiana): GOP Lawmaker Says Supermajority Will Get Permitless Concealed Carry Passed
“The first responder to every event is yourself,” Republican State Rep. Danny McCormick told WGNO News from his office in Oil City during a Zoom interview. McCormick is hoping to get his bill, HB 131, passed during the regular legislative session which begins on Monday. It’s the second year in a row that he’s tried to pass a bill that would allow for law abiding adults to carry a concealed handgun without a permit in Louisiana, and the third year in a row that the legislature has considered similar legislation. The previous attempts ended in either a veto from the governor or a slow death in the legislative process.
- Fox News: Philadelphia Concealed Gun Holder Acted In Self-Defense, Fatally Shooting Attacker At Cemetery: DA
A Pennsylvania district attorney determined a concealed carry permit holder will not face criminal charges after a fatal shootout at a cemetery, ruling the man acted in self-defense. “(Arian) Davis was under attack and in danger of being killed when he fired his legally owned weapon to end the threat. For these reasons, I conclude that this was a justifiable shooting, and therefore, no criminal charges are warranted,” Montgomery County DA Kevin R. Steele said in a press release last week. Montgomery County is located just outside of Philadelphia and is the state’s third-most populous county.
- West Virginia Public Broadcasting: W.Va. Universities, Colleges Preparing For Campus Carry Law
After years of failed attempts, Senate Bill 10, the Campus Self-Defense Act, also known as Campus Carry, passed in the recently completed legislative session. The new law authorized the concealed carry of firearms in certain areas of college and university campuses. It takes effect July 1, 2024. West Virginia’s institutions of higher education largely opposed campus carry… Marshall freshman Jonathan Willman agreed with all the safeguards and security measures needed. However, he sees campus carry as a defensive necessity. “I plan to carry myself when I get my concealed carry license,” Willman said. “We aren’t the people you have to worry about, it’s the people that break the laws. The bill allows kids to be able to defend themselves from people like that, who are already breaking the law and shooting up schools and campuses.”