The Pryor Times

December 18, 2012

McCullough offers plan to protect students


PRYOR —



OKLAHOMA CITY — State Rep. Mark McCullough announced Monday his plans to file legislation that will, among other things, allow CLEET-certified teachers and principals to carry firearms at school and at school events.

“We cannot continue to be shackled by politically correct, reflexive, anti-gun sentiment in the face of the obvious – our schools are soft targets,” said McCullough, R-Sapulpa. “It is incredibly irresponsible to leave our schools undefended – to allow mad men to kill dozens of innocents when we have a very simple solution available to us to prevent it. I’ve been considering this proposal for a long time. In light of the savagery on display in Connecticut, I believe it’s an idea whose time has come.

“ I trust my children to my local teachers and principal every day. I want to give these trusted, responsible educators the ability to defend themselves and our children in the same way any normal parent would, in the face of the unthinkable.”

McCullough and many other legislators have been seriously examining our gun laws for revision, beginning with a 2011 legislative study.

“We’ve been doing our due diligence on this topic. It’s important to get it right,” said McCullough. “CLEET certification is the exact same training our law enforcement professionals receive. Obviously we do not want firearms out and about in the school where students might have access to them. For that reason, if educators are allowed to carry firearms, it is necessary that they have them on their person at all times.”

McCullough said he plans to ensure there is funding available for CLEET certification for educators. He would also like to see schools coordinate with local police departments.

“One idea that has been discussed would be to actually designate these educators as reserve officers with local police and sheriff departments,” said McCullough.

Lawmakers are currently in the process of drafting legislation, which must be filed by 4 p.m. on Jan. 17, 2013.