At the end of the session, the Senate passed legislation that makes possession of a firearm in a safe school and recreation zone a felony. Under current state law, a person could only be charged with violating the safe school and recreation zone firearm prohibition once they commit another offense.
Introduced in June, House Bill 201 would help those tasked with protecting our students to act immediately when they see or suspect a person is carrying a firearm in a safe school zone, which includes any building, athletic field, sports stadium or real property owned by a K-12 public school.
Law enforcement officers, constables and other select public officials acting in their official capacity within that zone also would be exempt.
“Deadly weapons have no place in our schools,” said Sen Sarah McBride, the Senate prime sponsor of HB 201. “It is simply unimaginable that someone could carry a rifle into a school and there is nothing a police officer could do until they open fire. This legislation will reduce the reaction time of school officials and law enforcement officers in the critical seconds before a tragedy begins, and ultimately, save lives.”
The bill passed 15-6 in the Senate and 37-4 in the House. It has been signed by Governor Carney.
|House Bill 201 – Possession of a Firearm in Safe School Zone||Currrent Status – Senate Passed 15-6. House Passed 37-4. Signed by the Governor|
|House Sponsors – Schwartzkopf, Longhurst, Griffith, Heffernan,, Minor-Brown, Romer, Bush, Baumbach, Williams||Senate Sponsors – McBride, Gay, Hoffner, Huxtable, Sokola, Sturgeon, Townsend|
|House Yes Votes – Baumbach Bolden Bush Carson Chukwuocha Cooke Dorsey-Walker Griffith Harris Heffernan Johnson Lambert Longhurst Lynn Matthews Minor-Brown Moore Morrison Neal Osienski Parker-Selby Phillips Romer Schwartzkopf Williams Wilson-Anton // Briggs King Dukes Gray Hensley Hilovsky Ramone Short Shupe Smith Spiegelman Yearick||Senate Yes Votes – Brown Gay Hansen Hoffner Huxtable Lockman Mantzavinos McBride Paradee Pinkney Poore Sokola Sturgeon Townsend Walsh|
|House No Votes – Collins, Postles, Morris, Vanderwende||Senate No Votes – Buckson Hocker Lawson Pettyjohn Richardon Wilson|
|House Absents or Not Voting –||Senate Absent or Not Voting –|