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GOP Rep To Unveil Bill That Would Allow Active, Retired Law Enforcement To Concealed Carry In School Zones

Republican Rep. August Pfluger of Texas will introduce legislation Friday that aims to make it easier for law enforcement to respond to emergency situations in school zones, the Daily Caller News Foundation learned.

The legislation, dubbed the Police Officers Protecting Children Act, would allow active and retired law enforcement officers to carry concealed firearms in a school zone for the purposes of protecting students and amends the Gun Free School Zones Act. Republican Reps. Nicole Malliotakis and Claudia Tenney of New York and Don Bacon of Nebraska are cosponsoring the legislation, which is endorsed by the Texas Public Policy Foundation and the National Association for Gun Rights.

“I’m a father to three daughters and join millions of Americans in sending my girls to school every day and trusting that they are in a safe environment,” Pfluger said in a statement to the Daily Caller News Foundation. “I’m introducing the Police Officers Protecting Children Act to allow off-duty and retired police officers to carry firearms in a school zone and help keep kids safe. This legislation makes it possible for more law enforcement heroes to respond to an emergency situation and secure the area. Law enforcement officers do not lose their mission of keeping the peace just because they’re off the clock.”

Democratic members of Congress, like Reps. Dean Phillips of Minnesota and Jason Crow of Colorado, have opposed arming teachers in schools, claiming it would increase the danger to students. However, a May 2022 Trafalgar Group poll showed that 57.5% of respondents believed prohibiting teachers from carrying guns made schools more dangerous.

A shooter killed 19 children and two teachers at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, in May 2022 before Border Patrol agents stormed the classroom and fatally shot him. President Joe Biden has demanded Congress pass a ban on so-called assault weapons since that shooting and another in a Buffalo supermarket that left 10 people dead.

Biden announced an executive order Tuesday to increase the number of background checks on firearm sales. The president’s push for gun control has faced substantial resistance in both Congress and the courts, with lawsuits filed over executive orders on so-called ghost guns and pistol braces pending in the courts.

The Supreme Court struck down New York’s requirement that a person applying for a concealed carry permit show “good cause” in a 6-3 ruling written by Associate Justice Clarence Thomas June 23.

“Because the State of New York issues public-carry licenses only when an applicant demonstrates a special need for self-defense, we conclude that the State’s licensing regime violates the Constitution,” Thomas wrote for a 6-3 majority in New York State Rifle and Pistol Association v. Bruen.

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