Assemblyman James Gallagher’s (R-Yuba City) school safety bill, AB 2067, passed out of the Assembly Education Committee on a bipartisan vote of 5-0 last Wednesday.
Gallagher’s legislation requires school districts and charter schools to hire or contract with a school resource officer (who is a peace officer with special training on interacting with kids) on every campus. The officer would be required to be on-site during school hours and all hours that students are present.
School resource officers such as the one in Maryland who stopped the threat at Great Mills High School, attest to how resource officers can stop immediate threats.
“The Legislature has done much to disarm our law abiding citizens, but we have not done enough to protect our community against criminals and the mentally insane that are determined to do harm. And we must do better to protect our schools and our children which have become the ultimate soft targets,” said Gallagher.
Between 2013 and 2015, there was an average of two shootings each month at K-12 schools nationwide. Instead of making K-12 schools and charter schools safe zones for children to learn and develop, California schools have become an easy target. Criminals know schools are now completely ‘gun free’ zones where even law-abiding citizens with a valid concealed-carry weapon (CCW) permit are unable to carry on campus. As a result, criminals know that they are unlikely to run into opposition until law enforcement arrives at the scene.
Costs associated with this measure would be reimbursed through the state’s General Fund, and would not take away from funding schools currently receive through the Local Control Funding Formula.
“I know that there will be a cost to this bill. But as a parent and I am sure many parents can agree, you can’t put a price on keeping your kids safe,” said Gallagher.
AB 2067 now heads to Assembly Appropriations Committee for further consideration.