WASHINGTON D.C. — Lawmakers are returning to Washington D.C. this week with a new push to pass school safety legislation.
On Friday, a gunman opened fire in a Santa Fe, Texas high school, killing 10 students and injuring over a dozen more.
Lawmakers say something needs to be done to stop this.
Missouri Republican Congresswoman Vicki Hartzler says as a former public school teacher, she knows all too well how vulnerable students are at school every day.
“We are sitting ducks,” Hartzler said.
Hartzler says her bill, the “Police Officers Protecting Children Act” would allow armed, off-duty or retired officers to provide school security.
“Especially my smaller rural schools who say if something were to happen it could take up to 30 minutes for the county sheriff’s department in order to arrive,” Hartzler said.
Right now, the “Federal Gun Free School Zone Act” could prohibit an off-duty or retired police officer from carrying or discharging a firearm on school property. Hartzler’s bill would change that.
But Democrats, like Missouri Congressman Lacy Clay, says the solution is banning guns.
Clay is a cosponsor of the “Assault Weapons Ban Act of 2018”. He said in a tweet that it “already has earned 178 co-sponsors from across the nation. We demand that Speaker Ryan bring it up for a vote.”
“Individuals on both sides of the aisle, Republicans and Democrats are looking at all options and ways to provide more protections for our kids,” Hartzler said.
Right now Hartzler’s bill is included in the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act which is stalled in the Senate.
She says she plans to re-introduce her bill separately on the house floor in the next few weeks.
Missourinet media partner KOLR-TV contributed this story