Ga. lawmaker wants to let principals carry guns

Lawmaker wants schools to be able to arm administrators

A state lawmaker wants to allow schools to arm an administrator in an effort to prevent school shootings.

Rep. Paul Battles, R-Cartersville, has prepared legislation lawmakers could consider when they return to session beginning next week. The bill would empower school boards to allow one or more administrators to carry a weapon at school, at a school function or on a bus. Anyone chosen to carry a weapon would have to complete a state peace officer training course and qualify each year.

Battles said he’d rather have a trained police officer in every school but local boards and the state don’t have the money.

“We went through the discussion process of even possibly deputizing some of the administrators,” Battles said. “We had long discussions about different approaches. We came up with what I feel is the cleanest, most appropriate way for school systems to deal with their inability to provide security.”

The bill does not require an administrator in each school to be armed but provides the option.

The proposal comes as states seek ways to prevent tragedies like the December shooting at a Connecticut elementary school that left more than 20 people dead.

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