By: José Niño

Starting in 2024, all Texas public schools K-12 will have an armed security officer present. On June 13, 2023, House Bill 3 was signed into law in response to the United States’ tragic affliction of mass shootings taking place on school campuses. Most political leaders, especially those in blue states, have called for additional gun control measures to be implemented in light of these tragic developments.

However, states like Texas have taken a more pragmatic line on the issue of public safety at schools. Lawmakers in the Lone Star State believe that armed, lawful individuals are the best deterrent against potential mass shooters.

According to Dean Weingarten of AmmoLand, HB 3 outlined five ways for school districts to abide with this new law. The first three involve the following:

  • A school district peace officer
  • A school resource officer
  • A commissioned peace officer employed as security personnel under Section 37.081

These types of officers must undergo intense training that costs roughly $100,000 per year. The fourth way consists of bringing in a school marshal. In Texas, for an individual to become a school marshal they must undergo about 80 hours of training. Their license has to be renewed every two years.

The fifth way school districts can provide security is through the school guardian program. This program was drafted after several mass shootings that have rocked schools across the nation. It gives trained staff the ability to immediately respond to deranged gunmen when law enforcement usually responds too slowly. The guardian program is known for its cost-effective characteristics. The guardian program’s cost is roughly $800 to $1,000 annually. Up to 450 Texas independent school districts already use the school guardian program.

The fact remains that gun-free zones are safe spaces for criminals who want to pursue massive kill counts. Per pro-gun researcher John Lott’s findings, 94% of mass shootings have occurred in gun-free zones since 1950.

Rational minds would conclude that these gun-free zone policies are not working. Instead, policymakers should consider the alternative of allowing armed lawful individuals to provide security on the premises of educational institutions. It’s the most sensible, cost-effective way of keeping our children safe.

José Niño is a freelance writer based in Austin, Texas. Contact him via Facebook, Twitter, or email him at [email protected]. Get his e-book, The 10 Myths of Gun Control, here. Subscribe to his Substack newsletter here.