Harford County Del. Rick Impallaria has filed in a bill in Annapolis that would give public school districts across the state the authority to allow “certain, select” employees to carry firearms on school property to prevent or minimize the loss of life in a school shooting.
“The bill is very simple,” Impallaria, a Republican, said. “All we’re doing is giving authority to those school systems to put this into practice.”
House Bill 760 was scheduled to be introduced in the House Judiciary Committee Thursday. With a short title “Handgun Permits and Carrying Weapons on School Property,” the bill synopsis states: “Authorizing a county board to authorize school employees in the county board’s school system to carry a handgun on school property only if the handgun is secured on the person’s body; requiring the Secretary of State Police to issue a handgun permit to a person who is otherwise qualified and who is a school employee in a certain school system; etc.”
In a news release issued Jan. 24 about his intentions to sponsor the legislation, Impallaria cited a recent school shooting in Kentucky that left two students dead, as well as incidents involving guns and threats of violence at Perry Hall High School, the later which is in Impallaria’s legislative district, as is the western side of Harford County.
Impallaria represents District 7, along with Republican Dels. Pat McDonough and Kathy Szeliga.
A Perry Hall student was injured in a shooting at the school in 2012. Baltimore County Police responded to a fight in the school’s parking lot earlier this month, which was captured in a viral video, and an 18-year-old man who appeared in the video carrying an Airsoft pellet gun was arrested, The Baltimore Sun reported.
Harford County Board of Education President Joseph Voskuhl, who stressed he was speaking for himself, said he would “never support” legislation to allow guns on school property.
“[There are] too many chances of an accidental injury occurring,” Voskuhl said Monday.