Bismarck lawmaker reviving a 'guns in schools' bill

Dec 21, 2018

A Bismarck lawmaker is reviving a bill to allow designated personnel to carry weapons in school.

Rep. Pat Heinert (R-Bismarck) said the bill would be optional, and it aimed at smaller schools who do not have "Student Resource Officers."

"This would leave the opportunity available in state law for a school district to do this," Heinert said. "There are no mandates."

Heinert said the local school board would select a person -- or persons -- to carry weapons. He said the bill also requires approval by the Superintendent of Public Instruction, and the person must receive weapons training.

"I'm thinking the majority will be very small schools, that don't have the availability of a local law enforcement officer to be an SRO," Heinert said.

Heinert also said he would prefer that the person chosen by the school board would not be a teacher.

"They already have their responsibilities in a school shooting," Heinert said. "They have the kids to worry about, and we don't need to add more responsibilities to the teaching staff."

The measure passed the House in the 2017 Legislative session, but failed in the Senate.