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Resolution urges armed guards in schools

A resolution introduced in the House on Tuesday urges school boards to consider placing armed security guards in every school.

The measure, if passed by both houses, wouldn’t be binding and would merely express the General Assembly’s opinion. House Joint Resolution 13-1021 is sponsored by two Republicans, Rep. Chris Holbert of Parker and Sen. Kevin Grantham of Canon City.

School security hasn’t been a big issue during the 2013 session, despite concerns created by the Connecticut school shootings and in contrast to the controversy created by other gun-control bills.

Two GOP-sponsored bills introduced earlier in the session would have allowed school boards to decide if they wanted armed employees on school grounds, if those teachers or other employees held concealed carry permits. Both the measures, House Bill 13-1170 and Senate Bill 13-009, were killed in committee by majority Democrats.

A Democratic measure to ban carrying of concealed weapons on college campuses, House Bill 13-1226, made it through the House. But its Senate sponsor, seeing that it wasn’t likely to pass, had it killed using a parliamentary maneuver.

Only one bill related to school security remains alive. Senate Bill 13-138 seeks to strengthen the role of school resource officers in schools, including their involvement in school emergency plans. (Such officers typically are police assigned to work in schools.) It’s sponsored by Sen. Steve King, R-Grand Junction and a former school resource officer, and it passed the Senate with unanimous Republican and Democratic support. The measure also passed the House Education Committee and is pending in House Appropriations.

The resolution introduced Tuesday “encourages each school district of the state, through its authority to exercise local control and make decisions that are best for students, parents, teachers, and administrative staff, to consider employing armed security officers in each school.” The resolution also suggests hiring of police officers or trained security guards.

Current state law generally bans carrying firearms at schools, but school boards are allowed to contract for armed police officers or hire armed guards.

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