AP Photo/Elaine Thompson
Following the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla. in February 2018, a debate ensued over how the country could best protect students. Proposals have ranged from banning specific firearms to allowing teachers who are willing to carry inside the classroom. Other suggestions have involved metal detectors, school cameras, and more school resource officers.
In South Carolina, lawmakers have realized there’s a shortage of school resource officers across the state.
According to the Department of Education, “…around 600 schools throughout the state don’t have a resource officer,” reports Madeline Montgomery of ABC-affiliate WPDE. Montgomery also explains that though some schools have resource officers, not all are permanent, as some “roam” from school to school.
State legislators are now mulling a bill that would levy a tax on gun sales to help fund the training of more school resource officers to enhance school security (via ABC-affiliate WPDE):
More school resource officers and more money to pay for a gun: that’s a bill being considered by South Carolina representatives.
“This bill would allow for every firearm that’s sold to have a 7 percent additional fee. That fee would be used solely for the purpose of providing a trained, school resource officer at the school district that don’t have them currently,” said Wendy Brawley, a representative from Richland County.
But at the cost to who? Rivertown Gun Depot Manager Russ Calhoun doesn’t think it should be to gun buyers. He thinks the tax could even lead to illegal buying.
State Representative Wendy Brawley, a member of the Democratic Party representing District 70, told Montgomery that a seven percent tax is necessary as it would prevent schools from having to divert money from their budgets that would otherwise be used to educate students.
It is unclear if prospective gun buyers would turn to the black market to purchase firearms as the Rivertown Gun Depot Manager fears.
Whether or not you live in the state of South Carolina, would you support a tax on firearm sales to better school security at the state or federal level? Or is it an unnecessary burden on law-abiding gun owners and a violation of the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms?