On Monday, the California State Assembly passed Assembly Bill 424, which significantly changes concealed carry laws on school campuses. Currently, schools are considered gun-free zones, unless a “school district superintendent, his or her designee, or equivalent school authority” provides the gun owners with written consent, allowing them to carry.
The bill removes the superintendent and his or her designees’ ability to provide consent.
According to the bill’s author, Assemblyman Kevin McCarty, superintendents across the state have abused their power by allowing cafeteria aids, yard duty’s and other school officials to carry on school grounds. McCarty says that was never the original bill’s intention.
“This was not the intent of the bill passed a few years ago,” McCarty told KCAL 9. “Research shows allowing more guns in schools makes them less safe.”
To date, around five school districts have provided citizens with permission to carry on school grounds. School districts in the Central Valley, including Folsom Cordova Unified, Kingsburg Joint Union, Anderson Union and Kern have provided exemptions to the rule.
“Those who have been deemed responsible enough to have a (concealed-carry weapon) ought to be able to have one on school grounds if their school district allows it,” said Assemblywoman Melissa Melendez, who voted against AB 424. “It is not our responsibility to make that decision for them.”
AB 424 passed 43-23 and is headed to the State Senate for a vote.