An Oklahoma school district is footing the bill for six staff members to complete a 120-hour course to qualify for state-authorized concealed-carry firearms permits, following the passage of House Bill 2014 and its subsequent signing by Gov. Mary Fallin in May, which allows individual school districts to make the decision to arm teachers and administrators.
Wilson Public Schools, located near Ardmore, OK, is the first to move forward with permitting administrators to carry firearms for protection under the new law. Once they complete the course, the half-dozen staffers will be allowed to carry concealed sometime in November, according to school officials.
Having six armed staffers on the school’s campus will place one armed, qualified person in each of the district’s buildings. Each person will be responsible for providing and maintaining his or her own handgun for carry purposes.
“In today’s world with things that are happening, you have to do whatever you can to protect your school district and the children who come to school here … and that’s what we are doing,” Wilson Public Schools Superintendent Eric Smith told News9 television this week.
In other Oklahoma firearms news this week, State Bureau of Investigation assistant director Bryan Rizzi announced this week that 2015 is on track to be is the second-most popular year for concealed-carry applications and the biggest on record for renewals.
Rizzi told Oklahoma City television station KOCO there have been approximately 32,790 first-time applications and 14,754 renewals during 2015, for a total of 47,544 applications. In 2013, the year with the highest number of applications, there were 61,144 applications.
Presently in Oklahoma, more than 231,000 persons have permits authorized by the State Bureau of Investigation, a number that does not include those residing in the state with permits issued in other states holding reciprocal agreements in Oklahoma.