After School Shooting, Legislator Files Complicated School Marshal Bill

Dean Weingarten

Arizona -( In a recent rampage school shooting in Benton, Kentucky, a 15-year-old boy killed two classmates and wounded 14 others. One student said that the worst part was hiding and waiting 45 minutes before the police appeared.

This illustrates the problem of relying on centralized police to handle rampage shootings.  A Sheriff's Department School Resource Officer was at the school at the time.

It is unclear what effect the School Resource Officer had on the shooting, if any. The shooter was taken into custody without a struggle.

Senator Steve West, (R) SD-027, of Kentucky, has introduced the same bill he introduced in 2017, to allow strictly limited individuals to act as “school marshals” to protect children in K-12 schools in Kentucky.

The bill aims to slightly loosen restrictions on the possession of guns in schools so that a tiny number of people could react to violent rampages in schools.


Under Senate Bill 103, public school boards and private schools would be able to appoint teachers or staff to be “school marshals.”

Marshals would be required to have a concealed carry permit to carry a firearm on school property. The gun could only be used “for the protection of a third person from imminent death or serious physical injury,” and would be required to be kept in a lockbox at all other times.

SB 103 is a long, rather complicated bill that places significant restraints on school boards and school administrations.

School marshals are limited to one for every 400 students.

The bill only allows employees of the school to be school marshals.

The school marshals are required to have concealed carry permits.

School marshals would not carry firearms. The firearm has to be kept locked up on school property.

The ammunition used is limited to frangible ammunition.

The guns are limited to the same model of guns used by law enforcement in the area.

The school marshals have to pay for the installation of the lockup facility, the firearm and the ammunition. The School Administration is allowed to reimburse the marshal for the expense of installing the gun lockup.

Just outside of schools, people are allowed to carry firearms as part of their daily lives. But cross the line into a school, and suddenly, people are treated as if they are prisoners. No weapons allowed, even though the same people can carry weapons all they want outside the school.

Criminals and people intent on harming the children in the school, will not pay any attention to this completely artificial and ineffective line in the sand.

Why not simply allow for those who can legally carry weapons outside the school, carry them inside the school?

A weapon, across the school in a lock-box, is not a very effective deterrent to a school shooter.

An unknown number of armed defenders inside the school is. It complicates the shooters planning, making the potential for successful slaughter far from certain.

SB 103 is complicated and flawed in execution.  It makes it unlikely anything effective would be accomplished.

2018 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.

About Dean Weingarten:

Dean Weingarten has been a peace officer, a military officer, was on the University of Wisconsin Pistol Team for four years, and was first certified to teach firearms safety in 1973. He taught the Arizona concealed carry course for fifteen years until the goal of constitutional carry was attained. He has degrees in meteorology and mining engineering, and recently retired from the Department of Defense after a 30-year career in Army Research, Development, Testing, and Evaluation.

  • 11 thoughts on “After School Shooting, Legislator Files Complicated School Marshal Bill

    1. In the area where I live they have school resource officers assigned to each school. They are not want to be cops, they are actual LEO’s from the police department in the county where the school is located. I don’t know if this is a regional program or a state program but I think it is a good idea to keep the crazies out.

    2. The State of Ohio, helped in signficant part by the state’s private “clob” Buckeye Firearms Association, wrote up an excellent plan, managed to convince state lawmakers to enable it by some new state laws, then solicited private money and established a FREE to the individuals and schools in depth training programme whereby ANY person norally present on school property during school hours could voluntarily take the training, with their own weapon, get certified, and then carry their own firearm at school just as they already do at the bank, cafe, restaurants, libraries, theatres, pizza joints, coffee shops, car dealerships, supermarkets, parks, driving…… and the entire programme COST THE PUBLIC NOTHING, but the state how have a few hundred unideitified to the public armed and specially trained adults provising a continuing presence in any school where those same people already had been beforehand. SOMEONE realised that had that teacher in the first classroom at Scammy Crooks elementary had her own concealed hajndgun in the classroom, when that sick perp whose name I shall not repeat walked in to shoot her and her kids, she COULD have dropped him if not before he got off a round, at least before he got one off at his second victim. Remember, he’d been shooting out in the hallway, so they KNEW he was coming. She could have had it drawn and ready as soon as he walked through the door. But no, “guns are scary evil things and having themnanywhere near children is wrong……” Until someone WITH EVIL INTENT brings one around and begins shooting at the childlren… and no one WITH GOOD INTENT can stop him.

      Ohio got it far closer to right than any other state. Kentucky borders on Ohio, and I KNOW BFA abd that programme reached out to Kentucky making the same wonderful programme available to them.. but they would not have it.

      Imagine… as solid a solution as ever was devised, and able to be implemented with NO COST TO TAXPAYERS, was refused…. and now this kettle of krap is floated in the legislature? VERY limited, easy to foil, expensive….. WHY? Oh, because no one in Kentucky could line their pockets with tax dollars to make this flawed programme happen. So the kids remain at risk when a FREE solution was offered them, one that WORKS, years ago and was rejected.
      Other states are seriosuly loking into the Ohio model.. I think Colorado is one.

    3. The age of delusional liberal logic needs to end: our children are being murdered in gun free zones. The politician’s and administrators don’t want to part with the funds to protect our children evne though they are low hanging fruit for psychotics and fundamentalists. The solution is armed volunteers and armed professionals. Instead the politicians and administrators are throwing gun legislation into the mix, it’s not a solution it’s a horrible band-aid that has zero effect on criminal attacks. Even a marginally trained individual, armed with a capable pistol or carbine, could stop or slow down an attacker before they can slaughter our children. The NRA developed the NAtional School Shield Program, and no one in Washington and in DOE had stepped up to entertain the concept that the world’s oldest firearms safety organization (NRA) may have a significant amount of wisdom and knowledge to lend to the conversation! The bottom line is that Washington politicians, many state politicians, and the DOE’s admins/leadership do not care to invest into the safety of our children. They are too busy squandering our tax dollars into growing their empires, rather than diverting funds to solve problems. I would guess that education has more money to spend than ever before, yet the system is more bureaucratic and dysfunctional than ever before. This is not a partisan issue, it’s a “my kid goes to a private school with security” issue and us coomon peons don’t matter even though we are funding their lavish lifestyles in Washington.

    4. I proposed this very concept while being a teacher in Arizona. Letting staff members that had former law enforcement, or military background act as a School Marshal. However, I took it further. I asked that those staff members actually be made into a type of law enforcement personal. This is because kids are inquisitive by nature. No mater how careful a person might be about carrying a weapon, some kid will find out. Then everyone will know. So you might just as well get it out there in the first place.

      Require additional training to be a school marshal. The school where I taught (for 27 years) had many such members that who would have stepped up to the task happily. It was a good idea then (1984) it is a good idea now.

      1. Like someone here said: a volunteer system makes it difficult for the politicians to pad their pockets with tax dollars to capitalize on a solution. Spending tax dollars to do the right thing, is too costly to hire armed security, I have seen the numbers. $60,000+ per guard salary. The total cost per guard was estimated at $120k a year with training and equipment. That parallels the salary of a superintendent of a district or a legal retainer fee. I would guess that the department of education could do a great deal to save money and fund a guard in each consolidated school, however, it seems most districts are unwilling to take steps to cut costs. This raises the question whether consolidated schools are even sustainable? The expenses to transport students across multiple townships are significant. The large buildings require great cost to build and often come out short due to under funding and suffer from systemic issues like short lifespans, lack of environmental control units to address cooling in warmer months, and a lack of emergency electrical generation equipment. It would seem the small local schools were more sustainable, but they don’t provide big investments like a big project like a consolidated school..

    5. You know what I say, let these law breakers on your school property and shoot your kids. If you dont care to do something about it then fine, it will come your way. Hand wringing and gold badges on people designated as marshalls wont do a damn thing to stop someone who is just crazy.
      You go Mr West. Fine job….pffft….not! and you people in Kentucky go for this?

      1. Are you serious? Do you actually believe that armed school Marshalls will be ineffective at stopping active shooter in schools? It would be a massive deterrent just to have armed security at schools, and for the determined psychopaths, the armed security can neutralize the threats in a fraction of the time that the police could otherwise. I’m not saying his locked up gun plan is a good idea, but rather a realistic plan involving well vetted individuals: volunteers or existing staff, armed with a duty weapon is a solution. I don’t see any problem with open carry level 2 holsters in schools, and folks trained to use them. I would require similar qualifications to Air Marshalls, as they have a pretty strict small arms requirement: I have fired their quals and it’s decent. I don’t see the need to meet instructor level qualifications but it should be an end goal for all armed duty folks.

      1. @Roy D, I think that short comments show up, and the longer ones are more susceptible to disappearance. It takes a lot more thought and effort to keep them brief.

    6. The gun could only be used “for the protection of a third person ” So by law they could not use a gun to protect themselves? Talk about stupid.

    7. If I were a kid with the intent to “shoot up” the school I would make sure that those school marshal guns were unavailable to the staff. This would be as easy as putting superglue in the locks. Their “solution” is just another attempt to mollify the parents. The only realistic solution is to allow staff to carry on their person. That this would ever come to pass is incomprehensible to a person of my age. And I actually brought two firearms to two different classes in the 12th grade: Speech class and our taxidermy class. And no one had a single negative thing to say about it. And I was not alone in doing so. I am 62.

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