School Firearms Proposal Misfires
HARRISONBURG — A bill to allow public school employees to carry a concealed firearm in their vehicles on school grounds failed to get the backing of a Senate subcommittee Friday morning.
The full Senate Education and Health Committee will now hear the bill and, most likely, kill it.
Del. Tony Wilt, R-Broadway, led the measure to passage in the House of Delegates. It protects employees from being disciplined solely on the grounds that they were found to have a concealed weapon in their vehicle, with a valid permit, or an unloaded gun in a closed container, locked trunk or gun rack on school property.
The conservative House had passed it on a mostly party-line vote of 67-32, with Democrats against the measure and calling it “extreme” and going “far beyond Second Amendment protections.”
Its chances were slim of surviving the Senate. The Senate subcommittee has three Democrats and two Republicans. The full panel has nine Democrats and six Republicans.
Wilt said the bill corrects a “glitch” in state code.
“You and I as citizens can do this. We can go onto school grounds and have [a firearm] stored in our vehicle. They should be able to have that same right. … They’re citizens, too,” he said after it passed the House.
The Senate Education and Health Committee next meets Thursday.
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