A Virginia legislator says he will introduce a bill mandating teachers or other school personnel to carry concealed weapons, the Washington Post reported on Wednesday.
The proposal from state Sen. Robert G. Marshall (R) comes in response to last week's mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Conn. Wenzel J. Cummings, the state lawyer charged with drafting the legislation, originally questioned whether the legislature has the authority to require teachers to carry weapons to school rather than authorizing them do so.
Cummings, in consultation with other lawyers, ultimately concluded that the bill could be proposed as a mandate after turning up a recent example of the General Assembly’s ordering schools to do something. Last session, it passed a bill requiring that school boards adopt policies for stocking and administering epinephrine, to be administered to students in the case of a severe allergic reaction.
“Given that this is a mandate placed on the school board with regard to the training of its personnel, it seems to be within the realm of what your bill request would seek to accomplish requiring the training of personnel who would carry a firearm,” Cummings wrote. “In that vein, if you would prefer a ‘shall’ versus a ‘may,’ we think you could probably go forward with a ‘shall’ bill.”