Nebraska bill would allow teachers to carry concealed

It appears to be a very reasonable, arguably inspired law:

Teachers who obtain 24 hours of additional training could carry concealed handguns in schools under a bill introduced Tuesday in the Nebraska Legislature.

The bill would create a “level II” concealed carry permit that would require the holder to undergo training in addition to the roughly eight hours for a standard permit. The additional training would include best practices for active shooter situations, weapons retention methods and techniques related to barricading and evasion.

Legislative Bill 879, introduced by Sen. Mark Christensen of Imperial, would apply to public and private schools along with colleges and universities. The governing bodies of each school would have to grant permission for a teacher or staff member to carry a concealed gun.

Christensen has said he thinks the bill addresses a need for schools in rural settings where emergency response times take much longer than in large cities. Current law allows only on-duty law enforcement officers to carry handguns in schools.

You’ll note that the “level II” permit would have the normal 8 hours of training for a normal Nebraska concealed carry permit, then add 16 hours (2 days) of situation specific training that outclasses any general law enforcement training (training required of all officers) I’m aware of designed for this quite specific set of circumstances. It is possible that SWAT/ERT units might get this sort of specific training, but certainly not rank-and-file patrol officers, who are lucky to have anything more than mandatory bi-annual re-qualifications in many agencies around the country due to budget concerns.

This is not knock on Nebraska’s law enforcement officers by any stretch of the imagination, but a reflection of the general rule that the faster an active shooter is encountered, the lower the total body count tends to be. Having trained responders in the faculty and staff gives students a better chance of survival should the worst come to pass.

I hope that the Nebraska legislature recognizes this as the common sense, data-driven response that we want our legislators to use in making laws.