UPDATE (2/26/15): Gun bill passed out of House
The entire House of Representatives has passed the bill. Next it goes to the Senate. We’ll keep you updated.
ORIGINAL POST (2/18/15): Gun bill passes first test
The House Judiciary Committee approved a new version of the gun bill at a hearing Tuesday.
H.B. 4159 would allow current and retired state corrections officers to carry firearms in pistol-free zones. The proposed legislation was reintroduced last month because the Senate did not take a vote on it last term.
Jeremy Tripp, MCO’s deputy for community and governmental affairs, testified that COs receive extensive firearm training in areas such as use of force and handgun retention. Officers complete 32 hours of initial firearms training and four additional hours every year, he told the committee. Officers already carry firearms in restricted places, such as hospitals, while they’re on the job.
“Criminals don’t usually care about pistol-free zones,” Rep. Joel Johnson, the bill’s sponsor, said.
Tripp was one of about a half-dozen people who testified on the bill. Others who spoke opposed the bill on grounds that it creates an exception for certain people. Most said they wanted to see gun-free zones eliminated entirely. Johnson said he agrees, but hopes this bill is a step in that direction.
The judiciary committee passed the bill 9-2 with bipartisan support
Next, the bill goes before the entire House of Representatives for a vote. Officers, please contact your representative and ask them to vote yes on H.B. 4159. You can look up your representative here. (Please note, you do not need to contact your senator yet. We will let you know when the bill moves to the Senate.)
We’ll keep you updated on this bill. Hopefully we can get it passed this time around.