SC legislators respond to school shootings with 9 new gun- and school-related bills

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Since the Parkland school shooting, South Carolina legislators have filed nine gun- and school-related bills.

Leola Robinson-Simpson, D-Greenville, is one of the sponsors of a bill, H 4990, that would make it illegal to sell an assault rifle to anybody less than 20 years old. Assault rifle is defined as a rapid-fire, magazine-fed semi-automatic rifle designed for military use.

H 4975 would ban the sale or possession of all semi-automatic centerfire rifles with a detachable magazine with a capacity of 21 or more rounds, all semi-automatic shotguns with a folding stock or magazine capacity of more than six rounds, any firearm that has been modified to operate as an assault weapon, and devices designed to accelerate the rate of fire such as bump stocks and trigger cranks.

Robinson-Simpson and Ashley Trantham (R-Greenville) were among the sponsors of a bill, H 4966, that would require public schools to conduct separate monthly fire and active shooter drills. Schools would also be required to show all students an instructional video at least at the beginning of each nine-week grading period.

Rep. Mike Burns (R-Taylors) is among the sponsors of a bill, H 4972, that would allow public schools to designate employees as school protection officers to provide armed protection. The employees would have to hold a concealed weapons permit, keep the weapon on his person or in a locked firearm safe, use only frangible bullets, and have no history of violence or unmanaged anger documented by his employer.

H 4956 would allow concealed weapons permit holders to possess a firearm on school grounds.

Robinson-Simpson is one of the sponsors of a bill, H 4963, that would require at least one school resource officer during regular operating hours in public schools.

Another bill, H 5003, would require public schools to have bleeding control kits. School district employees would be trained on how to use them and immune from civil liability unless their application was grossly negligent.

Proposed legislation would make it against the law to threaten to cause damage, injury, or death by use of a weapon on any school or publicly owned building. The bill, H 5007, would make it unlawful to solicit or conspire with others to threaten damage, injury, or death.

Finally, H 5008 would require public schools to have at least one full-time employee monitor school surveillance equipment and notify school administrators, resource officers, or law enforcement if they see anything that raises a significant cause for concern regarding the safety of students, school property, or commission of a crime.

Fifty gun bills have been filed in 2017-18 legislative session. None have passed. In the 2015-16 two-year legislative session, three of 68 gun bills passed.

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