You’ve probably heard that the President recently held some meetings to discuss what, if anything, could be done in terms of gun violence in the wake of the Florida mass school shooting. One of the suggestions which came out of that was offering a bonus to well-trained teachers who choose to arm themselves at school. Mind you, it wasn’t a policy proposal. There is no federal bill currently in process which would make that a reality. It was one of several suggestions put forth.
That didn’t matter to the state legislators in New York, home of a #RESIST network possibly only second to California. Simply hearing that Donald Trump might be in favor of such a thing was enough to spur them to action. They immediately moved to change existing laws so that no teacher could be armed in any school in the state, despite what the laws they’ve already passed have to say on the subject. (Press Connects)
Democrats in the state Senate are proposing a ban on allowing teachers to carry guns in schools as a way to thwart any potential changes in federal law.
On Saturday, Long Island Sen. Todd Kaminsky announced legislation that would change New York penal law to explicitly prohibit teachers from carrying guns in schools.
The announcement adds to the debate in the state Legislature over what gun-control measures may be needed in the wake of the Parkland, Fla., school shootings Feb. 14.
“More guns does not equal safer schools,” Kaminsky, a Democrat, said in a statement.
Keep in mind that nobody in New York, including the Republicans, was talking about arming teachers. Nobody. But since somebody heard Trump mention it they needed to spring into action. The problem is, except for under the most carefully controlled conditions, it’s already illegal for teachers or other school faculty and administrative staff to bring a gun onto campus. This is from N.Y. Penal Law §§ 265.01(3), 265.01-a. (Emphasis added)
New York prohibits any person age 16 or older from knowingly possessing any air-gun, spring-gun or other instrument or weapon in which the propelling force is a spring, air, piston or CO2 cartridge in or upon a building or grounds, used for educational purposes, of any school, college or university, without the written authorization of such educational institution.
This means that if a teacher wants to bring a handgun to school they must first pass all of the requirements and background checks under one of the toughest sets of gun laws in the country, known as the NY SAFE Act. Even if they qualify, they have to make sure they avoid ever being “turned in” by someone on suspicion of not being trustworthy. This can include a therapist who provides treatment for depression or anxiety. According to the New York Times, the number of New Yorkers who have had their gun rights revoked (and in many cases had their guns confiscated), many having never been charged with a crime say nothing of being convicted, is well up into the tens of thousands.
But even if they manage to jump through all of those hoops, passing every qualification, then they will need to submit a written request to the school district. Another investigation is performed and the educational institution can then deny the request if they have any concerns or for no reason at all, really. But that’s not good enough for New York legislators in 2018. No sir! They want to modify the law to read as follows: (Emphasis added)
The bill would change the language to “stipulate that no educational institution shall issue such written authorization to any teacher, professor, administrator, or other person who is not primarily employed as a school resource officer, law enforcement officer or security guard.”
Take that, Trump! In your face! New York won’t put up with you considering any suggestions to keep schools safer. They’re going to cut you off at the pass, partner. And if a mass shooter shows up at one of New York’s schools and begins mowing down the senior class, at least we’ll know there’s no danger of an additional student being hit by an errant shot from a teacher trying to stop the shooter. Or something.