|By Bob Weaver|
Following the Florida school shooting that killed 17, West Virginia legislators have introduced bills that would further expand gun rights in West Virginia.
Since the Florida massacre, a number of WV schools have been put on alert related to threats on social media or in the school.
An unconfirmed verbal threat was allegedly made by a Calhoun Middle-High School male, reportedly threatening to shoot
students or personnel.
"Because of FERPA, I can't comment on specific student incidents or discipline. The administration, teachers and myself) take all reports seriously. We investigate and involve the necessary outside agencies to help us with investigations if needed," said Superintendent Kelli Whytsell.
Whytsell said she did have a conservation with all high school students on Tuesday to discuss the issue with them and the steps taken to ensure their safety.
"Student's health and safety are always on my mind. I stressed to the students that if they see something, hear something, know something, to tell an adult immediately. We also monitor doors to make sure that they are locked at all times and have special codes drills that we practice," Whytsell said.
She said Calhoun Schools will be requesting funding from the School Building Authority next October to create safe school entrances at both PHE and CMHS, similar to what AES has in place.
Meanwhile in Charleston, a bill that would allow employees to have guns in their vehicles when they park in their business parking lot is up for passage in the state House of Delegates.
HB 4187, the Business Liability Protection Act, has passed the House Judiciary Committee and now heads to the floor but has been met with some opposition.
"While our nation is grieving over the senseless loss of 17 children who didn't make it home from school last week, we are talking about protecting the rights of employees to bring their guns to work and lock them in their vehicles," said Sydney Smith with the West Virginia Coalition Against Domestic Violence.
Delegate Geoff Foster (R-Putnam) said this is a good bill for supporters of the Second Amendment.
Currently, an employer can prevent any person from carrying or possessing a firearm or other deadly weapon anywhere on their property. That could change.
"I argue that it will remove one more safe place in our great state. Businesses should be able to regulate their own property and make their own decisions about how best to keep their employees safe," said an opponent.
Bills have also been introduced that would allow gun carry on the campuses of WV colleges and universities, widely opposed by those institutions, in addition to arming the state's first responders.
Charleston Mayor Danny Jones is waging a war on a gun bill that passed the state Legislature on Saturday. It allows those with conceal carry permits to bring a gun into city recreation centers, swimming pools and municipal parks.
"We're not going to provide lockers for guns. We're not going into the gun business," said Jones. He said if the politicians want to come to work the door at our rec center and collect guns, they can do it. "We're not doing it!"
Jones was angry when WV over-ruled a three day waiting period for gun sales in Charleston, a law passed to deal with dozens of black market arms dealers coming from out of state to quickly purchase guns.
Regarding gun carry in recreation centers, "We believe this legislation is insensitive at best but it also borderlines on being irresponsible and somewhat reckless because this is a safe haven for children," said Rev. Matthew Watts .
Legislators in Kentucky are proposing to arm designated public school teachers. Today, President Donald Trump, suggested to the Florida school students that teachers be allowed to be trained to carry concealed guns and become policemen.