Press Release from the Office of State Senator Craig Estes, District 30

For Immediate Release
April 15, 2013
Contact: Liz White

"Texas School Safety Training Act" Passes Texas Senate
Act empowers courageous teachers to voluntarily seek training for active-shooter scenarios

Austin — Today the Texas Senate passed SB 1857, the Texas School Safety Training Act, which empowers qualified Concealed Handgun License (CHL) instructors to earn a "school safety certification" that would allow them to train teachers to save lives should an active-shooter scenario occur inside a Texas school.

"The goal of my bill is to enable CHL instructors to provide training to qualified teachers on basic defensive tactics while not diminishing the local control of school districts," Senator Estes said. "My bill is a voluntary, free market approach that doesn't cost the state one penny."

Currently, school personnel are provided with little or no training in how to properly respond to an active school shooter situation. Under the Act, teachers will receive training on best practices for the protection of students, how to interact with first responders, tactics to deny an intruder entry into a classroom, and accuracy with a handgun under duress. This enhanced training is voluntary and only available to teachers who already have a CHL.

There is measurable demand for this type of training. Earlier this month, more than 700 school personnel attended a free, all-day session on gun laws and safety in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

The bill has the support of the Texas Parent Teacher Association, the National Rifle Association and the Texas State Rifle Association.

Late last year, the tragic events at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut prompted lawmakers to discuss ways to improve school safety in our state. In January, the Committee on Agriculture, Rural Affairs, & Homeland Security held a hearing to discuss how to increase the safety of students and teachers in Texas public schools. As a result of that hearing, Senator Estes filed the Texas School Safety Training Act to address training deficiencies in current law that allow guns on campus.

Estes serves nearly 820,000 constituents across Senate District 30 which includes all of Archer, Clay, Cooke, Erath, Grayson, Jack, Montague, Palo Pinto, Parker, Wichita, Wise, and Young counties and parts of Collin and Denton counties.