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North Carolina bill could allow teachers to have guns on school grounds

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RALEIGH, N.C. — North Carolina teachers are one step closer to getting the right to carry a gun on school grounds.

North Carolina House Bill 216 passed its first reading Thursday. Now, it goes on to a House committee.

Sponsored by Republican Reps. Michael Speciale of Craven County, Keith Kidwell of Beautfort and Craven Counties and Larry Potts of Davidson County, this bill aims to give teachers the right to carry a handgun on school grounds “to respond to acts of violence or an imminent threat of violence.”

Titled the “School Self-Defense Act,” this bill would allow full- or part-time school faculty or staff members with a valid concealed handgun permits and volunteer school safety resource officers to have guns at schools.

This permission does come with certain requirements.

The faculty or staff member must complete 16 hours of active shooter training, submit an annual written notice that they still have a valid permit to the school’s chief administrator, continue to show proficiency with the gun and gun retention system, keep it concealed at all times unless responding to an act of violence and submit to annual drug testing.

The school’s governing body also still has the right to prohibit an otherwise qualified person from having a gun on school grounds.

The state would establish a School Faculty Guardian program, run by the N.C. Criminal Justice Education and Training Standards Commission, to give volunteer school faculty guardians the active shooter training required.

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