Hartzler Proposal to Protect Schoolchildren Passed by Judiciary Committee
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler (MO-04) today announced that legislation she introduced in May to allow off-duty and retired police officers to use a firearm to protect children at school has been included in legislation passed out of the House Judiciary Committee yesterday. The legislation is endorsed by Laclede County Sheriff David Millsap and Pulaski County Sheriff Jimmy Bench.
“Law enforcement’s ability to respond to emergencies in rural areas has always been a challenge, and this vulnerability has become more evident in the wake of recent shootings across America,” said Congresswoman Hartzler. “My bill would enhance local law enforcement’s reach by giving school boards the option to allow off-duty and retired officers to carry their firearms in schools. This proposal is a commonsense measure to protect our children and help law enforcement who are already stretched too thin. I’m glad to see it included in the legislative package the Judiciary Committee passed yesterday.”
Background: Congresswoman Hartzler originally introduced her bill, H.R. 2513, the Police Officers Protecting Children Act, on May 18, 2017. The legislation would amend the Gun Free School Zones Act to remove the federal barrier to local school districts’ ability to change their policies to best protect their schoolchildren. The idea for it originated with one of her constituents, a 30-year veteran police officer. Despite decades of work protecting his community, and annual testing and requalification with a firearm, once this constituent clocked out of work he was prohibited from using his training to protect his grandchildren when he visited them at school. Off-duty police offers are also prohibited from protecting children on schoolgrounds with their service weapon once they’re off the clock.
Rep. Hartzler’s bill was included in H.R. 38, the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act, which was passed out of the House Judiciary Committee yesterday. Click here for more information about Rep. Hartzler’s proposal.
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