“This bill would expose schools and students to unnecessary risk and potential harm by allowing individuals without adequate training to carry firearms on school grounds,”McAuliffe said the difference between school resource officers (SROs) and someone who is a retired officer working for a private security company is that SROs undergo regular training and private security officers don't.
Bob Owens at BearingArms.com noted that at least on this one, McAuliffe may have a point:
What McAuliffe is objecting to is the arming of school guards who are retired law enforcement officers who lack the current training that the SROs receive.The bill's sponsor, Delegate Scott Lingamfelter said this was a political veto:
It’s hardly a public secret that while law enforcement officers are generally good folks, most do not have significant firearms training, and their training varies significant from area to area within states, and from state to state. Unless these law enforcement officers (LEOs) are “gun guys” who seek out additional training on their own time (spending some of the meager salaries to do so), or are detailed to special units, their training is typically rudimentary.
LEOs* generally (notice the qualifier) are limited to training on static targets on a square range with generous time allowances. If they are not trained for the very specialized conditions—long hallways, individual bad guys hiding among a panicked, fleeing mass of “no-shoots”—then simply putting more guns into the equation likely raises the risk of innocent students getting caught in a crossfire. Likewise, the bill McAuliffe vetoed seems expressly designed to address retired officers. Retired officers come in a wide range of conditions and ages, from super-fit, hyper-competent folks I see competing in 3 Gun competitions on the national level in their mid-40s, to doddering 70-somethings that can barely move or see much past their front sight.
For once, I think McAuliffe’s decision may be the correct one.
Lingamfelter pointed out that the bill gave school systems the option to allow for armed security officers and would have required them to maintain firearms training to current standards.HB1234 did not pass the State Senate with a veto proof majority.
"This is the sort of veto that’s done in indelible ink because one day — sadly after a tragedy — people will look back and remember this veto and say ‘We should have put that bill in law,' " he said in a statement.
"This was a bill that had all the right prudent precautions and it died a political death. Let’s hope no more deaths will be tied to this veto, but I fear more will.”
VSSA would be interested on the thoughts of our readers on this one as we have a number of firearm trainers in our membership and reading audience.