Should teachers have the right to request student disarmament?

Jun 6, 2018, 9:20 AM


New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo wants teachers to have the right to petition a court to have students' guns taken away. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer, File)

(AP Photo/Mary Altaffer, File)

Gov. Jay Inslee is a strong proponent of Washington state’s law that allows family or police to petition a court to take away someone’s guns. But New York Governor Andrew Cuomo wants to take things a step further.

RELATED: Have you talked with your doctor about gun control?

Gov. Cuomo is proposing legislation that goes beyond Washington state’s gun violence restraining orders. If approved, it would allow teachers and school administrators to petition a court to take away firearms from students who considered a threat to themselves or others.

“We have a person in this school. We believe they’re dangerous. We believe they’re in possession of a firearm and ask a judge to intervene,” he said.

New York would be the first state in the US with such a law empowering teachers to request that students be disarmed.

Gov. Cuomo also wants to raise the minimum age to buy firearms from 18 to 21.

In Washington, similar efforts failed during the last legislative session. Senate Bill 6620 would have, among other things, prohibited someone under 21 from purchasing certain rifles and shotguns. That bill didn’t even get out of committee in the Democratic-controlled Legislature.

The Washington State Legislature was able to ban bump stocks and toughen restrictions on people convicted of domestic violence.

Urging leaders to shy away from the push to arm teachers, Gov. Inslee urged President Trump to consider using Washington’s Extreme Risk Protection Order as a model for a national system.

On the federal level, however, gun control efforts have largely fallen flat. Even as the rash of violence in public schools continues.

The federal school safety commission established after the deadly shooting at a Florida high school decided not to examine the role of guns in school violence. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos revealed just that when she testified before Senators Tuesday.

It didn’t go over well with Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vermont).

“Will your commission look at firearms as it relates to gun violence in our schools?” Leahy asked.

“That is not part of the commission’s charge per say,” DeVos responded.

“I see. So you’re studying gun violence but you’re not considering the role of guns?” Leahy asked.

“We’re actually studying school safety and how we can ensure our students are safe at school,” DeVos said.

“Well, are you looking at some of those countries where the students do just as much time on video games and just as much time on social media as we do but do not have gun violence? That’s a yes or no?” Leahy pushed.

“Not per say.”

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Should teachers have the right to request student disarmament?