Guns in private schools
Legislation that would give private schools the ability to set policy in regards to firearms has been approved by the Oklahoma House.
The author said the bill is more than a gun bill. Rather it is a bill asserting private property rights and restoring them to private schools.
House Bill 1622, by state Rep. Sally Kern, was approved by a 12-0 vote in the House Public Safety Committee and passed the House 87-4. Current law punishes gun owners who carry a firearm onto private school property with a felony charge, a fine of up to $5,000 and two years in prison. Under Kern’s bill, the penalty would be a misdemeanor charge, a fine of no more than $250 and zero jail time.
Kern said private schools would be able to arm teachers to defend the school if they so chose, under her bill.
“The bill would allow private schools to set a policy for an armed guard in order to protect students and themselves if an active shooter were to come on campus,” said Kern, R-Oklahoma City. “Or they could allow teachers to carry a firearm. The point, though, is that it would be up to them. Private schools are private entities and the state has no business telling them who can and cannot carry a firearm on their property.
Churches are a good example of a private property on which a law-abiding gun owner might be charged with a crime for carrying a weapon on a Monday, during a church-run school’s hours, or have no charge on Sunday, when they are attending a service, Kern said.