The committee investigating the Parkland school shooting that left 17 people dead has recommended arming teachers who volunteer and undergo extensive background checks.
- Parkland panel recommends allowing some teachers to carry guns
- Teachers would have to undergo extensive background check
- Pinellas Sheriff Bob Gualtieri pushed for the gun measure
The Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Commission voted 13-1 during a meeting Wednesday to recommend to the Florida Legislature to expand the school guardian program to include the select teachers, who would be able to carry a concealed gun on campus.
Committee members said it isn't enough to have one or two officers or armed guards at schools.
Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri, who is the chairman of the commission, supports the measure.
The commission is meeting to discuss ways to prevent future school attacks in the wake of the February 14, 2018 shooting in Parkland. Nikolas Cruz is accused in the massacre.
Gualtieri was initially opposed to arming teachers but changed his mind since serving on the commission.
"Why shouldn't we give people an opportunity to take someone out before they engage in greater carnage and greater killing," Gualtieri said. "We have to give people a fighting chance, we have to give them an opportunity to protect themselves."
He said there aren’t enough officers or money to hire one for every school, but even then officers need backup.
"One good guy with a gun on campus is not enough."
Florida law adopted after the Feb. 14 shooting that left 17 dead allows districts to arm non-teaching staff members such as principals, librarians and custodians — 13 of the 67 districts do, mostly in rural parts of the state.
The majority of parents from Marjory Stoneman Douglas have been opposed to teachers carrying guns.
The 15-member commission, which was formed in April and has been meeting this week, will present a report to Gov. Rick Scott, incoming Gov. Ron DeSantis and the Legislature by Jan. 1.
Spectrum News reporter Jason Lanning contributed to this story.
Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.