Raleigh, N.C. — Certain teachers and other volunteers could be designated as "school safety marshals" and be allowed to carry firearms in emergency situations under a bill filed by Sen. Stan Bingham, R-Davidson.
Bingham said that he had met with sheriffs to talk about how school safety could be increased in the wake of the Newtown, Conn., school shooting.
There have been suggestions that any teacher with a concealed handgun permit be allowed to carry it onto educational property.
But Bingham said that concealed carry permit holders have only a few hours of training and are not necessarily required to practice with their weapons as a law enforcement officials are.
"That's not near enough training," he said.
Rather, Senate Bill 27 would call for the North Carolina Criminal Justice Education and Training Standards Commission to come up with a training regimen for volunteers.
Bingham said he envisioned teachers who were retired from the military as ideal candidates. He said the bill would also allow for volunteers who live near schools to be trained.
As explained by Bingham, the bill would not call for marshals to be armed full time. Rather, they would respond to a lock-box to retrieve a firearm in case of an intruder. That procedure is not specifically outlined in the bill.
Many school districts in urban areas where there are lots of law enforcement nearby may not feel the need for such volunteers, he said.
"This may help rural districts, where help is more than a few minutes away," he said.