NY gov signs law banning schools from arming teachers

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed a bill Wednesday that bans school districts from arming teachers, part of several laws he’s signed this week to strengthen gun regulations in the state.

Under the provision, which takes effect immediately, educational institutions cannot authorize any employees to carry firearms other than school resource officers, law enforcement and security guards. President Donald Trump has advocated for arming teachers as a way to prevent school violence.

“The answer to the gun violence epidemic plaguing this country has never been and will never be more guns,” Cuomo said in a statement.

Cuomo signed another measure Wednesday that tasks police with setting statewide regulations on gun buyback programs. He also signed laws expanding safe storage laws in homes with children under 16 and outlawing weapons “undetectable by a metal detector,” including 3D-printed guns.

Within a week of last year’s shooting in Parkland, Florida, Trump suggested arming teachers and school staff to improve safety at schools.

“A gun-free zone to a killer or somebody that wants to be a killer, that’s like going in for ice cream,” he said at a listening session with local and state officials in 2018.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a bill in May allowing teachers to carry firearms on campus. Districts may opt into that program, which requires teachers who choose to participate to undergo extensive “police-style” training, drug screenings and a psychiatric evaluation.

School districts in Texas, Utah, Arkansas and South Dakota have allowed educators and school staff to carry firearms for several years, though the length and frequency of required training varies by state.

All states except Hawaii, New Hampshire and Wyoming ban people from bringing guns on K-12 campuses, though eight allow concealed handgun permit holders to carry their weapons at school or have no law on the subject, according to the Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence.