Hartzler Measure to Protect Children and Empower Law Enforcement Passes House
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler (MO-04) today announced that a provision she authored to allow off-duty and retired police officers to carry a firearm to protect children at school was included in H.R. 38, the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act, which the House passed today. Hartzler’s provision was originally introduced in May as H.R. 2513, the Police Officers Protecting Children Act. Her legislation was endorsed by the Fraternal Order of Police, Laclede County Sheriff David Millsap and Pulaski County Sheriff Jimmy Bench.
Rep. Hartzler spoke in support of her provision on the House floor here. You may also click on the image below to see her speech.
“I’m pleased the House passed my provision today to protect children and empower law enforcement,” Hartzler said. “In rural areas law enforcement is stretched thin, and my bill would give school boards the choice to allow off-duty and retired police officers to carry their firearms in order to respond quickly to a school emergency or shooting. The bill puts more choice into the hands of localities instead of relying on a one-size-fits all solution handed down by the federal government.”
The language Congresswoman Hartzler authored would amend the Gun-Free School Zones Act to give local school boards more control. Currently, federal law allows only on-duty police officers to carry their firearms on school campuses. Hartzler’s provision would allow school boards the option to change this policy so that off-duty and respond quickly to a school emergency or shooting.
“Not allowing current law enforcement officers, or qualified retired law enforcement officers to carry weapons at schools simply puts children’s lives at risk,” said Laclede County Sheriff David Millsap. “Officers routinely put themselves in harm’s way during their shift and that commitment does not stop at the end of shift. Retired law enforcement officers are too valuable of resource to be put on shelf. Let the professionals continue to protect our children on or off duty.”
“I would be in favor of this bill,” said Pulaski County Sheriff Jimmy Bench, speaking of the Police Officers Protecting Children Act. “There are a lot of retirees and off-duty officers who would like to have this opportunity to protect our children, but have not had the ability. This would be an asset to our communities, and it would give our retirees a chance to continue their service beyond retirement.”
For more information about Rep. Hartzler’s original legislation, please click here.
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