By: Andy Alcock


Mar 12, 2014


A measure to allow trained people to carry firearms at Florida’s schools cleared a hurdle in the Capitol today. By a 9 to 4 vote, a House committee approved that plan.

“I think it’s really important that our children are safe,” said bill sponsor Representative Greg Steube.

Steube is an Iraq War veteran and father of a three year old boy.

“We have schools that are completely unarmed that are completely defenseless,” he said.

The Sarasota Republican is sponsoring a bill to allow trained helpers to carry guns in Florida’s schools.

Under the plan, only former or current law enforcement officers or military would be eligible.

Qualified people would have to take a 40 hour school safety course, 8 hours of active shooting training per year.

And leaders at each school district can decide if they want this type of help or not.

“Just to have security guards in schools with guns I don’t think solves the problem,” said Representative Alan Williams.

The Tallahassee Democrat opposes the plan.

Williams took part in the rally against the state’s stand your ground law on Monday.

Some of those demonstrators went to a committee hearing where the Senate’s version of the bill was passed.

Williams points out Leon County, for example, has school resource officers who are armed and currently work in law enforcement.

“If we need to do anything, I think we need to put more funding into the school resource officer initiative,” said Williams.

“Unfortunately, the state doesn’t have the money to do that,” Steube said.

And he says many school districts don’t have the money for school resource officers either.

He says under his plan either volunteers or school districts would pay for training.

Steube says school resource officers he’s talked to also say they’d like to have back up if a threat arises.

His bill has two more committee stops in the House.