Florence Representative files bill allowing SC school employees to carry guns

Representative Phillip Lowe of Florence and Darlington Counties has sponsored a bill to allow a public school employee, who has a concealed weapons permit, to carry a gun on a school campus.

You can click here to view the bill.

Lowe prefiled the bill Tuesday, in the wake of the tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut.

A gunman walked into Sandy Hook Elementary School and killed 20 children, ages six through seven, and six adults.

"You can't predict the evil in some people's mind when you've got the deranged like that. There is no way to tell what they are willing able to do," said Lowe.

"We've got the bullets that don't ricochet. They disintegrate when they hit something. So they shouldn't be a problem of bullets spraying all over the place."

Lowe's bill says an employee can keep the weapon on them at all times while at school. It requires that only frangible bullets be used in an effort to avoid ricochets.

"We won't have automatic weapon

s, t

here will be semi-automatics that shoot one at a time. They're in a holster, they have a safety on them. Know how to operate from the gun. Know how to put a bullet in a chamber to pull the trigger. So, there's a lot to have to take place for a child to get this from the teacher. I'm really not concerned about that."

The employee has to provide written notification to his principal of his intent to carry the gun, according to the bill.

Lowe's bill requires the worker to successfully complete and biennially renew certification as a precision marksman by the State Law Enforcement Division (SLED).

The bill reads that the employee can't have a history of violence or unmanaged anger documented by his employer.

A school board may only deny an employee of his ability to carry a firearm on school property upon finding a just cause, according to Lowe's bill.

Marney Boatwright teaches special education at West Florence High School. She thinks Lowe's bill is a good idea, but says it needs to


reworked to include more training.

"While there


great need for the safety and security in schools, it's also not as great an idea as seem to have every Concealed Weapons Permit member be allowed to carry in school. The CWP is an eight hour training session and that only teaches you to protect yourself not others," said Boatwright. " If we're going to have concealed carry in schools, the select members do need to have more and more specific training in order to take care of that."

Lowe's bill is in the House Judiciary Committee. The group will hold a public hearing on the legislation in January.