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Iowa lawmakers advance bill making it easier for school employees to carry firearms

Posted at 4:56 PM, Feb 12, 2024

Following the deadly school shooting in Perry at the beginning of January, a subcommittee in the Iowa House advanced a bill that would make it easier for schools to arm staff members.

Additionally, the bill (House Study Bill 675) would:

  • Require school districts with more than 8,000 students to employ armed school security personnel in high schools.
  • Encourage smaller districts to hire armed security officers by offering $50,000 grants to districts.
  • Allow school employees to carry firearms after taking a "prescribed firearm safety training course."
  • Give armed school employees "qualified immunity" from prosecution. Schools say that would make it easier to obtain insurance, which had been a barrier to arming school employees.

BROADCAST TRANSCRIPT:

Would kids be safer if school staff could be armed? A bill in the Iowa House of Representatives would make it easier for schools to arm trained staff members and hire security personnel.

I'm your Southwest Iowa neighborhood reporter, Katrina Markel.

On Monday a House subcommittee listened to testimony on a bill that would:

  • Require school districts with more than 8,000 students to employ armed school security personnel in high schools.
  • Encourage smaller districts to hire armed security officers by offering $50,000 grants to districts.
  • Allow school employees to carry firearms after taking a "prescribed firearm safety training course."
  • Give armed school employees "qualified immunity" from prosecution. Schools say that would make it easier to obtain insurance.

It's not identical, but it's similar to a proposal we saw in Nebraska's Unicameral last week. The subcommittee advanced the bill to the full public safety committee.
Your Southwest Iowa Neighborhood Reporter Katrina Markel.