State lawmakers in nearly 20 states this spring are considering, or
have recently considered, bills that would allow guns in k12 schools or
on college campuses — including Colorado, Texas, Nevada, Florida, and
“There’s definitely a lot of activity this year. In terms of higher
ed, we had eight states with bills last year, and now we have 15 — and
even one would be absolutely unacceptable,” said Andy Pelosi, executive
director of The Campaign to Keep Guns Off Campus.
Among the state legislation under current consideration is a bill in
Colorado that would allow any individual with a concealed-weapon permit
the right to carry guns into K12 schools. One of its chief proponents is
a lawmaker who was a sophomore at Columbine High School during the 1999
shooting. But among its opponents is Colorado third-grade teacher Katie
Lyles, an NEA member and also a Columbine survivor, who was spurred by
the Sandy Hook in school shootings in 2012 to speak up for gun safety.
“I think [the CO bill] a really short-sighted, reactive solution,” Lyles told National Public Radio.
“I feel like we need to be looking at a different conversation. And
that conversation is, how do we prevent violence from even entering that
Moreover, how do guns and kids safely mix, she asked. “”If I had a
gun, kids are around me all of the time. They’re giving me hugs. So
where do I keep that gun?”
According to the California-based Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence,
the vast majority of states (all except Hawaii and New Hampshire)
generally prohibit guns from K12 schools, but there are exceptions. For
example, concealed-carry permit holders can carry their firearms into
K12 schools in 11 states — including Utah, where an elementary school
teacher accidentally shot herself in the leg in a teachers’ bathroom in September.