Bill would allow armed officers in Ga. elementary schools - New York News

Bill would allow armed officers in Ga. elementary schools

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ATLANTA -

A new bill would allow school officers to carry guns in Georgia elementary schools. It's the second measure introduced this year affecting guns and schools.

Following the December school shootings in Connecticut, Georgia officials began trying to find ways to help financially-strapped school districts protect students.

In the state Senate, Ronald Ramsey (D-Decatur) has now introduced a bill that would allow local school boards to hire so-called "para-protection" officers at elementary schools.

"This is a way to protect students in light of the budgetary constraints that many school districts are facing to allow someone to be inside of that school building as a defensive measure," Ramsey said.

The state Senator says his bill would mandate at least five years of law enforcement experience and training measures before carrying firearms on school property.

"We want someone who has hands-on and current law enforcement experience to be in that setting," Ramsey said.

But Tracey-Ann Nelson of the Georgia Association Educators is among those with concerns about measures placing guns in the hands of anyone other than police officers in school buildings.

"I think it's really important that we sort of ensure that people who are trained to be carriers of weapons are the only ones doing it around kids," said Nelson.

Another bill already introduced in the state House would allow administrators to carry guns in schools after receiving training and certification.

The state Senate bill would allow the elementary school officers to carry handguns and stun guns in school buildings, at school functions and on school buses.

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