Power For Districts To Decide Concealed Carry On Campus Taken Away With New Law

FOLSOM (CBS13) – Concealed weapons are no longer allowed at schools in one Sacramento County district.

Governor Jerry Brown signed a bill last week which would take away a superintendent’s authority to issue written permission for a concealed weapon on campus. That also includes parents or relatives picking up students; their concealed weapons must be locked away in their cars before they enter school grounds.

The Folsom-Cordova Unified School District is the only district in the region which allowed school staff access to concealed weapons. The district isn’t happy with the new law.

Administrators say if there was an active shooting at one of its schools, they would have lost a valuable tool that could have saved so many lives.

“I’m against having any sort of weapons on campus with children.”

Kristin Norris just found out Folsom-Cordova Unified allows concealed weapons on school grounds, and she’s not thrilled.

“I don’t feel like we are in a district where that is needed,” Norris said.

Her son goes to school within the district, and knowing there may be a firearm in his school puts Norris on edge.

“I don’t think it’s gonna keep someone who’s gonna do harm to a school,” Norris said. “I don’t think knowing there’s one person on campus with the gun is gonna keep them from doing that.”

“Our superintendent and board and a lot of our families have seen this measure as an extra layer of security,” said Dan Thigpen, spokesman for the district.

That extra layer is about to be ripped off.

Under a new law signed by Governor Jerry Brown, school staff – including parents – would no longer be able to carry a concealed firearm onto school grounds.
The bill also strips the superintendent’s authority to give anyone written permission to conceal carry in school.

“Knowing we don’t have that tool anymore, we are fully prepared to do everything else in our power to protect our schools,” added Thigpen.

Since 2010, Folsom-Cordova Unified has allowed certain staff members access to a hidden firearm if there was an active shooter at school.

Now, the district says it has to figure out a new plan to keep each of its schools secure.

“How often are we holding active shooter drills, how often are we doing site assessments in collaboration with law enforcement,” Thigpen said.

Right now, the district has four dedicated school resource officers – a tool the district could tap into as a shield in the event of a mass shooting.

“It makes me super sad that we have to even think about this, our schools that have to think about this,” Norris noted.

The new law will go into effect on Jan. 1.

The district says it’s also looking at creating a committee dedicated to reviewing safety plans. Other school district administrators in the region say they’re not affected by this law – they have never allowed concealed weapons on campus.

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