Sen. Renfroe supports armed teachers on school grounds
January 26, 2013
Other bills sponsored by local legislators
Rep. Perry Buck, R-Windsor
1. A bill that would have the Secretary of State’s office address the issue if there are more votes than eligible voters during an election.
2. When a person has been victimized, currently the perpetrator can call that victim after he or she has finished the prison sentence. The proposed bill would extend the ‘no contact’ rule to the day the perpetrator completes his or her parole.
3. A bill that would restore constitutional rights, such as voting rights, to nonviolent felons (those who commit crimes such as check fraud or forgery).
Sen. Scott Renfroe, R-Greeley
1. An emissions auto program that would provide a 10-year exemption to new cars and take effect immediately after Gov. John Hickenlooper signed it into law. The program would cover the entire Front Range, and would provide a one-car hardship exemption for senior citizens so they wouldn’t have to enter their car into the program and pay the $35 fee.
2. A bill to eliminate red-light cameras and photo radar. Renfroe said studies and data have come out that say cameras are not safe, don’t increase safety and actually increase accidents. It would be a statewide bill.
3. Concealed handgun carry in schools (see story).
Rep. Dave Young, D-Greeley
1. House Bill 13-1001 Advanced Industries Accelerator Act would create high-skilled jobs in Colorado, increase global competitiveness and drive capital investment, proponents say. It would provide up to $15 million a year for up to 10 years for grants to advanced industries, which would include aerospace, bioscience, electronics, energy and natural resources, infrastructure engineering and information technologies. Strategic grants for the state’s small high-tech startups would range from $150,000 to $500,000.
2. A bill to change the vehicle emissions process for diesel fleets. The fleets currently have a visible inspection process, but if they have a good maintenance record they can substitute that instead of doing the visible inspection.
3. A bill that would bring the state’s Medicaid rules into alignment with the federal rules. The rules would change so that inspections could be done without notice on areas such as bookkeeping and safety, instead of the current state law of a 10-day notice.
Rep. Lori Saine, R-Dacono
1. Concealed handgun carry in schools (see story).
2. A bill that would remove ineligible voters from Colorado’s voter role if they are a possible non-citizens, much like removing a deceased person or possible felon from the voter role. Proponents say the change would provide continuity and accountability to the Secretary of State’s office.
Scott Renfroe wants to take the National Rife Association’s position on school safety one step further.
As the NRA is calling for armed security guards in every school throughout the United States, the Republican senator from Greeley sponsored a bill during the first week of Colorado’s 2013 legislative session that would allow a school district employee to carry a concealed handgun on school grounds, if the employee holds a valid permit to carry a concealed handgun.
Each school district’s board of education or governing board of a charter school would be able to adopt a written policy.
Co-sponsoring the bill with Renfroe is Sen. Ted Harvey, R-Highlands Ranch, and Rep. Lori Saine, R-Dacono.
In light of what happened in the school shooting at Newtown, Conn., where 20 first-graders and six staff members were killed by a gunman, Renfroe said he’s thought about beefing up school safety since the Columbine High School shooting in 1999.
“I was on the Eaton school board when Columbine happened,” Renfroe said. “We looked at what we were doing, dealt with our teachers, our students, our parents and administrators trying to make our school safe and see what we could do. Frankly, it even goes back to then of looking at what can you really do to make your school safe.”
Renfroe said what’s in place now at schools isn’t working.
“It’s clear when you really look at what we have today, that what we’re doing doesn’t work,” Renfroe said. “Criminals don’t obey the laws, and you can’t ban guns enough to create a safe zone that they’re not going to enter. As long as we have evil hearts in the world and until we change the hearts, you’re going to have evil. I see this as a debate we should have in a way to try to bring some safety and security into our classrooms to people who are qualified to do it.”
Renfroe said the bill would allow local school boards to make the decision on whether a district employee can carry a concealed handgun, and the school board could require additional training to make sure the employee was qualified to carry and felt comfortable doing it.
“I have four kids in the K-12 public system right now at Eaton, and I think we need to look at and try to do something different because what we have been doing doesn’t work,” Renfroe said. “I know there are districts that would probably never consider this, and I think there are other school districts that would. If you’re going to carry, you need to be properly trained. I trust teachers to educate my child, and that’s a huge responsibility. I trust them to make the decision if they feel they are qualified and able to carry a weapon also. I would love to give that opportunity to help protect not only themselves, but the students in their class.”
Renfroe said he hasn’t had any Democrats come on board in the Democrat-controlled Legislature regarding the bill.
“Obviously, I haven’t had people from the other side of the aisle run up and say they want to be signed on. I would be hopeful that people would not have the emotions of the gun issue get in the way of looking at really what is going on, and what are things we can do to try and keep our schools safe,” Renfroe said. “I would hope they would listen to people that are going to come and testify and people talking about the bill. I think there is support out there. Gun control itself is politically driven, and hopefully we don’t have that partisanship when you look at even a bill like this that isn’t mandating something, that’s giving it the local control aspect of it. Districts out in rural Colorado can’t afford to hire police officers or security within their schools like some of the inner-city schools do in the bigger cities. This might be another option for them.”
Rep. Dave Young, D-Greeley, said he has reservations about the bill.
“My reaction to that is that if we’re going to have people on school grounds that are carrying weapons, that they need more training than what would be required by concealed carry the way the law stands now,” Young said. “It’s one thing to conceal carry to protect yourself, but it’s another thing when you’re in a situation where you’re not only protecting yourself but other people. The police have intense training that they give their officers on an ongoing basis when they’re out in the community to protect people. This is a similar kind of situation. I just think that anybody that’s on school grounds that would be in that capacity would need to have a huge amount of training to ensure that they could really provide that kind of protection for people.”
Saine said a superintendent from a rural school district thanked them for sponsoring the bill.
“He said he’s 30 minutes from the nearest law enforcement, and he said it’s preposterous that the only way he could protect the children is to find a good hiding place and just hope that the shooter doesn’t locate them,” Saine said. “That’s not protecting our children. If we don’t allow responsible gun owners to be inside the schools, then somebody will bring a gun inside a school who is not responsible.”