Denver CO Jan 31 2017 Senate Republican leader Chris Holbert is taking a second look at his Senate Bill 5 to create training for teachers who want to carry guns in school.
"I'm going to take a day or two to talk to the districts, to talk to the sheriffs," Holbert said Monday morning.
He is considering an amendment to establish statewide minimum requirements for training. Holbert said he wants to consult with the Colorado Association of School Executives, which has training by those allowed to carry guns as part of its effort to lower insurance costs.
"There are many school districts right now who hire private security, and private security can be teachers, a football coach, a librarian, whoever," Holbert said. "My bill, absolutely, I'm after more training requirements for those people."
The bill passed the Senate State, Veterans and Military Affairs Committee last week on a party-line vote. Democratic Sen. Steve Fenberg of Boulder said his concern was that the standards of training could vary sharply from district to district and county to county.
"The power it gives at the local level could result in no real training to a person with a gun in a local school," Fenberg said.
Holbert doesn't support another mandate on schools, but the training program would be something districts could opt into doing or not.
The County Sheriffs of Colorado support Holbert's bill, citing rural districts that would experience a delay before law enforcement could arrive. Holbert said Monday that 145 of the state's 178 school districts serve rural areas.
School districts would not have to rely on a plan - or lack thereof - from their local sheriff, but shop from the plans around the state.
"However many sheriffs decide to do this, all 178 school districts could shop among those training programs," Holbert said.
Minimum standards would not only improve safety statewide, but possibly lower insurance rates.
Holbert said most of the opposition is to current law, which allows school staff to carry guns as long as they're designated as security, which requires no training.
He hopes he can get that amendment written and vetted with school advisers this week.