Oklahoma House passes legislation to allow personnel to carry guns in schools

House Bill 2336 would allow districts to authorize certain people to carry a handgun on school property, as long as they have a valid reserve peace officer certification or possess a valid handgun license.

The legislation would also allow districts to work with law enforcement on alternative instruction if they cannot find personnel wiling to undergo the required private security guard training according to the bill's author, Rep. Sean Roberts.

“Having someone onsite who can respond to a potentially dangerous situation is critical,” Roberts said. “This legislation is especially important in our rural areas, where law enforcement is sometimes half an hour away when they receive a call. I was glad to work with county sheriffs on this bill and I’m grateful for their leadership and expertise in this area.”

LEAP Forward has scored the House votes on HB 2336 and will continue to grade this legislation as it makes its way through the Senate.


Arkansas Committee moves to close domestic violence loophole

From John Moritz: Arkansas Democrat Gazette:

Law enforcement, including the Arkansas State Police, told committee members they were handcuffed from seizing weapons or arresting people who violate the federal prohibition because there is no state law preventing people with misdemeanor domestic violence convictions from possessing a firearm.

House Bill 1655, by Rep. Nicole Clowney, D-Fayetteville, mirrors the federal statute to enact the ban on the state level.

Clowney amended her bill prior to Thursday to allow an avenue for people to have their firearms rights restored if they are able to have their misdemeanor domestic violence conviction sealed. Clowney said that because there is no current state prohibition, Arkansans with those convictions have no pathway under current law to restore their federal firearms rights.


Statewide gun registration proposed in Pennsylvania

From Tribune Media Wire:

The bill would require Pennsylvanians seeking to do anything with a gun, whether that be own, possess, sell or transfer, to apply for gun registration through State Police.

It would make exceptions in cases such as collector items, antiques or duty weapons.

The application, which would be required to be in writing and sworn under oath, would need thorough personal and gun information. This includes: name, home and business address, telephone number, date of birth, Social Security number, age, sex, and citizenship of an applicant.

This legislation, HB 768, has been referred to the House Judiciary Committee. LEAP Forward will be scoring support for this bill.


Local Coverage: Arizona committee advances bill allowing guns on school property

From Mark Phillips, ABC 15:

A bill allowing loaded guns to come on school campuses is making its way through the Arizona Legislature. On Thursday, the Senate Judiciary Committee, by a vote of 4-3, sent the measure to the Senate for final passage.

House Bill 2693 changes the wording of existing law to allow for loaded guns on school grounds, provided they remain locked in a vehicle and out of view. Under the current law, gun owners must unload their weapon before driving onto school property.

From Howard FIsher, Capitol Media Services:

Judith Simons, a retired teacher, had a different take.

“One of the reasons I retired when I did was increasing fear of gun violence at school,” she said.

Simons also said that the legislation, as worded, does not limit the ability to bring a loaded gun onto campus to situations where a parent is simply dropping off a child. She said it covers things like conferences, disciplinary hearings and after-school events.

HB 2693 now goes to the full Senate, where a final vote could send the legislation to Gov. Doug Ducey. LEAP Forward is scoring opposition to this bill.


NRA puts weight behind Kansas bill to prohibit landlords from banning guns in subsidized housing

From Tim Carpenter in the Leavenworth Times:

Megan Jones, who lives in the district of Stilwell Rep. Sean Tarwater, said the NRA’s advocacy for the bill was peculiar because it amounted to infringement on a property owner’s right to determine how best to use private property. The legislation should be opposed because it would force property owners to abide by government-imposed choices reflecting ideological choices of a Kansas special interest, she said.

“If we tell landowners what they can and cannot allow in their property, are we different than King George, forcing American colonists to quarter his troops and their arms?” Jones said. “Are we different from those who would force each one of us to keep a copy of a Little Red Book?”

The legislation, House Bill 2378 was heard yesterday in the House Federal and State Affairs Committee. LEAP Forward is scoring opposition to this bill.


Editorial: Pass Ethan's Law in Connecticut

The safe storage bill in Connecticut should be a protection all would want. This bill could save lives.

From 2001 through 2018, 126 children through age 17 died from gun-related injuries, Sarah Healy Eagan, the state’s Child Advocate, said.

Slightly more than three-quarters were homicides, 80 percent were boys, and 87 were teens aged 15 to 17. The 39 who were aged 14 and younger include the 20 first-graders killed in the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in 2012. By race, 45 percent of the children who died in that 18-year span were white, 43 percent black, 11 percent Hispanic and 1 percent “other.”

Thus, boys aged 15 to 17, such as Ethan Song, would seem to be most at risk.


Florida House Committee advances two NRA-backed gun bills

From Ana Ceballos, News Service of Florida:

Rep. Cord Byrd, a Neptune Beach Republican who is sponsoring one of the proposals (HB 6005), said his bill would help teachers who are trained to be armed school guardians. The bill would allow them to store weapons in their vehicles when parked on school grounds.

NRA lobbyist Marion Hammer spoke in favor of the bill Tuesday, saying it would protect Second Amendment rights.

“The bill corrects a problem with current statute,” Hammer said. “The law allows you to carry a firearm in your vehicle for protection. We are a mobile society.”

HB 6005 was voted out of the Criminal Justice committee 10-3. The other bill, HB 403, would allow religious institutions to authorize people to carry on property owned or rented by religious institutions, including schools. It passed the Criminal Justice subcommittee 12-2. LEAP Forward’s Florida scorecard will be updated with these votes shortly.


California: Three supported bills advance out of committee

Scored Votes

Assembly Public Safety Committee

✔AB 164 - Firearms: prohibited persons and

AB 339 - Gun violence restraining orders

passed the Assembly Public Safety Committee by unanimous 8-0 votes.

AB 164 prevents a person who is barred from purchasing or possessing a firearm in another state from purchasing or possessing a firearm in California.

AB 339 requires municipal police departments, sheriffs departments, the California Highway Patrol, and college and university police departments to develop and adopt written standards pertaining to gun violence restraining orders.

✔ AJR 5 - Firearm safety passed the committee on a party-line 6-1 vote.

This bill would urge the federal government to pass California-style universal background check legislation in the US Congress.

LEAPer Buffy Wicks, a member of the Public Safety Committee, voted for all three bills.

Upcoming Hearings


Scored Vote: Arkansas House passes noise suppressor bill

The Arkansas House has passed SB 400, legislation that would remove firearms adapted for silent discharge from the state’s list of “prohibited weapons.”

The bill passed 75-12, with three Democrats joining all 71 Republicans voting Yea. This was the third scored vote the full House has taken this session. Previously, the House passed two pieces of legislation to reduce the cost of concealed carry licensing (HB 1036 and SB 17).

The Senate passed SB 400 last week. The bill now goes to the governor for signing.

There are still 18 Democratic members of the Arkansas House with perfect A+ grades following this vote:

  • Fredrick Allen - District 30

  • Charles Blake - District 36

  • LeAnne Burch - District 9

  • Nicole Clowney - District 86

  • Vivian Flowers - District 17

  • Denise Garner* - District 84

  • Don Glover - District 11

  • Megan Godfrey* - District 89

  • Monte Hodges - District 55

  • Fredrick Love - District 29

  • Tippi McCullough - District 33

  • Reginald Murdock - District 48

  • Milton Nicks - District 50

  • Mark Perry - District 42

  • Jay Richardson - District 78

  • Jamie Scott - District 37

  • John Walker - District 34

  • David Whitaker - District 85

* Garner and Godfrey were endorsed by LEAP Forward in 2018


Washington: Legislature approves bump stock buy-back program

Scored Votes:

SB 5954 - Concerning the bump-fire stock buy-back program passed the full House 94-4 (Yeas 57 Ds, 37 Rs; Nays 0 Ds, 4 Rs) and agreed to by the full Senate 48-0.

According to the bill’s official summary, SB 5954 would:

[Allow] Washington residents the opportunity to turn in up to five bump-fire stocks for a payment before the federal law banning the possession of bump-fire stocks takes effect or June, 30, 2019, whichever is earlier. Alternatively, Washington residents may provide the Washington State Patrol a receipt from the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives or a Washington law enforcement agency, as proof that a bumpstock was relinquished prior to any federal rule prohibiting possession of bump-fire stocks, and receive a financial payment.

The bill would take effect immediately once signed by the governor.


Florida bill to turn paramedics into "SWAT medics" passed Senate Committee

The Senate Judiciary Committee unanimously passed Senate Bill 722, which would allow armed paramedics to work alongside law enforcement officers during “high risk” operations.

From The Tampa Bay Times:

The proposal by Sen. Ed Hooper, R-Clearwater, would allow paramedics and other medical professionals, which he called “SWAT medics,” to be armed while accompanying law enforcement in “hostage incidents, narcotics raids, hazardous surveillance, sniper incidents, armed suicidal persons, barricaded suspects, high risk felony warrant service, fugitives refusing to surrender, and active shooter incidents.Hooper pointed to recent massacres in Florida as issues driving the bill.

Hooper pointed to recent massacres in Florida as issues driving the bill.

Sen. Hooper referenced the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School as rationale for the legislation. From CBS Miami.com:

The bill would require the paramedics to have concealed-weapons licenses and for law enforcement agencies to establish training and deployment policies.

The proposal must go before two more Senate committees. An identical proposal has been filed in the House (HB 487) but has not appeared in committees.


Arizona: Key NRA-backed legislation getting a hearing on Thursday

One of the NRA’s chief priorities in Arizona this session is HB 2693. What they’re calling the “Pick Up/Drop Off” bill is really nothing more than legislation that would allow guns to be left in cars on school grounds, where they would make a popular target for thieves. A report from Everytown for Gun Safety found that in Phoenix alone, nearly 5,000 guns were stolen from cars from 2005-2014, and HB 2693 would mean more gun in more cars, and in close proximity to schools.

This legislation has already passed the state House on a strictly party-line vote and is currently scheduled for a hearing in the Senate Judiciary Committee on March 14. Republicans have a 4-3 majority in that committee.


Maryland: Bill prohibiting spending on arming teachers passes House

Scored Votes


✔ HB 367 - Public Safety - Education - Firearm Funding passed the full House 95-43 (Yeas: 0 Rs, 95 Ds; Nays: 41 Rs, 2 Ds)

This bill would prohibit a county board of education or public school from spending any money from any source to directly or indirectly provide a teacher with a firearm or train a teacher in the use of a firearm.

It has crossed over to the state Senate and has been placed in the Senate Education, Health, and Environmental Affairs and Judicial Proceedings Committees.


✔ SB 346 - Public Safety - Regulated Firearms - Transfer passed the Senate Judicial Proceeings Committee by a unanimous 11-0 vote.

This bill defines “transfer,” as it relates to regulated firearms, to include a loan other than a temporary gratuitous exchange of a regulated firearm between two individuals who remain in the same location for the duration of the exchange.


Arkansas: Three graded bills before House Judiciary TODAY

The Arkansas House Judiciary Committee will hold hearings this morning on three pieces of gun-related legislation that LEAP Forward is grading: HB 1655, HB 1694, and SB 400.

LEAP Forward is scoring opposition to HB 1694 and SB 400. HB 1694 would repeal the section of the Arkansas Code that makes it unlawful for any person other than a member of law enforcement to knowingly carry a firearm in a publicly owned building or on State Capitol grounds, in the State Capitol building, or in the Arkansas Justice Building in Little Rock. SB 400, which has already passed the state Senate, would remove firearms adapted for silent discharge from the definition of “prohibited weapons.”

LEAP Forward is scoring support for HB 1655. which would remove firearms from the perpetrators of household violence.

The Arkansas House Judiciary Committee has 20 members, 15 Republicans and 5 Democrats. It has yet to vote on a graded bill.


Arizona: Trio of gun regulatory bills pick up steam in the Senate, but face committee roadblocks

Three graded pieces of gun legislation introduced in the Arizona Senate have picked up significant support prior to their committee hearings.

SB 1381, SB 1490, and SB 1507 have now each picked up at least eleven Democratic cosponsors in the 30-member body, and nine Democrats - Lela Alston, David Bradley, Lupe Contreras, Andrea Dalessandro, Sally Ann Gonzales, Juan Jose Mendez, Otoniel Navarrete, Martin Quezada, and LEAPer Victoria Steele - have signed on to all three.

SB 1381 is an extreme risk protection order bill, SB 1490 would add trigger cranks, bump stocks, and other accessories used to increase a weapon’s rate of fire to a list of prohibited weapons in the state, and SB 1507 expands background checks.

All three have been assigned to the Senate Rules Committee and the Senate Judiciary Committee and are awaiting a scheduled hearing date. SB 1507 has additionally been sent to the Transportation and Public Safety Committee.

Republican control of the Arizona Senate means the GOP has a 5-3 advantage on the Transportation and Public Safety Committee and 4-3 advantages on Rules and Judiciary. The Judiciary committee has taken one scored vote this session - passing through SB 1292 on a party-line vote.


Editorial: Training won't turn teachers into law enforcement

Indiana lawmakers have proposed legislation that would incentivize arming teachers with loaded guns in our K-12 schools, using grant money taken from the Indiana Safe Schools Fund. Arming teachers has been tried, studied, and proven ineffective and risky for both students and teachers. To really protect students and teachers, we must focus on the approaches proven most effective and tackle this issue from all angles, like those in a recent report by the National Education Association, the American Federation of Teachers and Everytown for Gun Safety.

Importantly, adults should store their weapons responsibly: unloaded, locked and separate from ammunition. Everytown for Gun Safety’s mass shooting analysis shows that 78 percent of shooters under age 18 obtained the gun(s) from their home or the homes of relatives or friends, thus suggesting responsible storage practices can be effective in addressing how guns get into our schools. It is irresponsible to believe in a moment of high stress and confusion, teachers can abandon classrooms of scared students to become sharp-shooters and stop an individual without harming themselves or an innocent bystander. Forty training hours won’t turn teachers into well-trained law enforcement officers. This is a dangerous and ineffective proposal. Please call your Indiana senator today and tell them to vote no on House Bill 1253.

Indiana HB 1253 has passed the Indiana House 72-53, and is currently in the Senate Committee on Education and Career Development.

The purpose of the bill is to create a firearms training curriculum for teachers and school employees and raids the state’s Safe Schools Fund to cover expenses for creating that curriculum. LEAP Forward is continuing to grade action on this bill in the Senate and is scoring opposition.

Upcoming Legislative Schedule: At least six graded bills get hearings today


Florida: Four pro-regulation bills get assigned to committee

Committee Referrals

✔ HB 6069 - Preemption of Firearms and Ammunition has been referred to Criminal Justice Subcommittee and the Local, Federal and Veterans Affairs Subcommittee of the House Judiciary Committee

Senate Judiciary, Criminal Justice, Rules

✔ S 1532 - Local Regulation of Firearms and Ammunition

✔ S 1662 - Preemption of Firearms and Ammunition

✔ S 1718 - Sale and Delivery of Firearms

Republicans hold a 10-7 advantage on the Rules Committee, a 4-3 advantage on the Judiciary Committee, and a 3-2 advantage on the Criminal Justice Committee. These would be the first bills graded by LEAP Forward to get voted on by these committees.