UTAH LEGISLATURE

Bill offers teachers $500 to join gun training program and install gun safe in classroom

Jan 22, 2024, 11:41 AM | Updated: 11:48 am

FILE - A customer checks out a hand gun that is for sale and on display at SP firearms on June 23, ...

FILE - A customer checks out a hand gun that is for sale and on display at SP firearms on June 23, 2022, in Hempstead, New York. A landmark Supreme Court decision on the Second Amendment is dismantling gun law across the country, dividing judges and sowing confusion over what firearm restrictions can remain on the books. Experts say the high court’s ruling that outlined a new test for evaluating gun laws left open many questions, resulting in an increasing number of conflicting decisions as lower court judges struggle to figure out how to apply it. (AP Photo/Brittainy Newman, File)
Credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS

(AP Photo/Brittainy Newman, File)

SALT LAKE CITY — A bill introduced to the Utah Legislature would incentivize school teachers with a $500 reimbursement to install a biometric gun safe.

Sponsored by Rep. Tim Jimenez, R- Tooele, HB119 states it would create the “Educator-Protector Program to incentivize school teachers to responsibly secure or carry a firearm on school grounds by providing reimbursements and liability protection.”

The Educator-Protector Program would require an annual classroom response training, given by a county sheriff, the Department of Public Safety, or a local law enforcement agency at the school where the teacher is employed.

The required training would include:

  • specifics of the school building, including where emergency supplies and security infrastructure are located
  • hands-on training of safe loading, unloading, storage, and carrying of firearms in a school setting
  • live-action practice in responding to threats, particularly in the classroom where the teacher is assigned
  • four hours of practice with firearms including practicing and demonstrating firearms at a firearms range offered by a county sheriff, the Department of Public Safety, or a local law enforcement agency.

To participate in the program, a teacher must complete an annual classroom response training, an annual firearms training, and have a valid concealed carry permit issued under Title 53, Chapter 5, Part 7 Concealed Firearm Act — six months before joining the program.

The bill explains a teacher participating in the program may store the firearm on school grounds if the firearm is stored in a biometric gun safe, the gun safe is located in the teacher’s classroom or office, and the teacher is physically present while the firearm is stored.

The teachers may also carry the weapon concealed on their person.

The bill requires the state board to allocate a one-time payment of $500 for each teacher participating in the program within the local education agency.

Providing this $500 incentive to educators could cost the State Board of Education $1.6 million in one-time costs, the bill’s fiscal note states.

The $500 is offered as a reimbursement for the installation of a biometric gun safe.

The bill does not outline what guns would be permitted in schools, but does specify that teachers in the program are not liable for any civil damages or penalties if they are “acting in good faith” and “not grossly negligent.”

Local education agencies are also not liable for “civil damages or penalties resulting from a teacher carrying or using a firearm at a school if the teacher is employed by the local education agency and participating in the program.”

Schools participating in the program must post a sign that states the school is “not a gun free zone” and “and individual intending to commit violence on the school’s grounds may be confronted by armed resistance.”

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Bill offers teachers $500 to join gun training program and install gun safe in classroom