Rick Scott Introduces Legislation To Allow Armed Officers In Schools

Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL) proposed legislation that would redirect funds for thousands of Internal Revenue Service (IRS) agents to a grant program allowing schools worldwide to hire armed law enforcement officers.

The School Guardian Act would establish a grant program managed by the Department of Justice (DOJ) which would give K-12 schools the ability to hire full-time security.

Scott said the legislation was needed to prevent future mass shootings such as the ones in Parkland, Florida, and more recently in Nashville, Tennessee. His bill would create a national program similar to a state program enacted during his time as governor of Florida that helped schools hire armed law enforcement officers.

“Following the tragic shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, five years ago, we worked hard to make significant changes and establish measures to increase law enforcement in schools,” Scott said.

“Thanks to this work, and the landmark legislation we passed, every public school in Florida has an armed police officer, sheriff’s deputy, or an individual who has completed the rigorous training to keep our students safe from harm,” he added.

Scott continued by saying that the recent Nashville shooting was a reminder of the need to improve school safety, beginning by introducing the Guardian Program to all schools across the U.S.

Scott’s proposed grant program would receive funding from Congress’ $80 billion appropriation for the IRS in the Inflation Reduction Act. U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland would operate the program, providing funding to all 50 states. Every state’s chief law enforcement agency would then give the funds to schools that need armed officers.

The program would be available to all public and private K-12 schools, and states would be mandated to send unused funds back to the DOJ.

“Instead of spending billions of dollars to expand the IRS to go after American taxpayers, Washington can send a powerful message to parents about our true priorities by dedicating these funds to the School Guardian Act to provide block grants to states so they can increase school security at every school and keep kids safe,” Scott said. “I hope my colleagues agree and support its quick passage.”

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