If SB 224 becomes law, some employees would be able to have firearms on private school property.

Some private school workers may be allowed to carry guns 

Jarek RutzGovernment, Headlines

If SB 224 becomes law, some employees would be able to have firearms on private school property.

If SB 224 becomes law, some employees would be able to have firearms on private school property.

Private schools will be exempted from parts of Delaware’s Safe School Zone law, which focuses on who is allowed to have a firearm on campus, under a bill that seems headed to the Senate floor.

Senate Bill 224, sponsored by Senate Minority Whip Brian Pettyjohn, R-Georgetown, exempts certain employees of a private school from the Safe School Zone law.

Only employees designated by their private school employer to provide security for the school while also holding a Delaware concealed carry permit are exempt.

According to Delaware Code, a Safe School Zone is any building, structure, athletic field, sports stadium or real property owned, operated, leased  or rented by any public or private school including any kindergarten, elementary, secondary or vocational-technical school.

Here are the employees the bill would apply to:

  • A constable employed by a school or school district who is acting in an official capacity in a Safe School Zone.
  • An active-duty member of the United States Armed Forces or Delaware National Guard who is acting in an official capacity in a Safe School Zone.
  • A holder of a valid license to carry concealed deadly weapons, but only if the firearm is in a motor vehicle.
  • An employee of the Department of Services for Children, Youth, and Their Families who  is acting in an official capacity in a Safe School Zone and who is  authorized by the Secretary of the Department to carry a firearm while acting in the employee’s official capacity.
  • A probation  and parole officer who is  acting  in an  official capacity  in a Safe School Zone.
  • A qualified retired law-enforcement officer who is employed or contracted by a school or school district to assist with security or investigations and who is acting in an official capacity in  a Safe School Zone.
  • An employee of a private school who is a holder of a valid license to carry concealed deadly weapons who is designated by the employee’s private school employer to provide security on the premises and who is in possession of a firearm on the employee’s private school employer’s premises.

Sen. Kyra Hoffner, D-Dover, said during a Senate Judiciary Committee Wednesday that she would like to see better identification for those that have concealed weapons at private schools. 

“So we’re going to designate one person who’s in plain clothes and we don’t know who it is, who’s carrying, and an officer could just happen to be there,” Hoffner said. “Doesn’t that seem like a lot of guns in the room and nobody knows who’s carrying?”

Pettyjohn said he would be open to having some credentials visible on someone with a concealed weapon.

Hoffner suggested putting some sort of band on their body so if a law enforcement officer was there, they would know that an unmarked security guard has a gun on them. 

Some legislators and public commenters pointed out that Hoffner’s gripe is one indication about why it’s so important officers or anyone with a concealed carry weapon is trained.

The bill was not voted on publicly because Senate committees vote in secret by signing the back of the bill following the hearing. The results aren’t posted for hours.

If released, SB 244 will move on to the full Senate floor for debate.

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