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Holcomb: Legislators Must Add School Security Precautions Before Adjourning

Governor says he'll offer detailed recommendations soon

(INDIANAPOLIS) - Governor Holcomb wants new safety protections for schools before the legislature adjourns in two weeks:

Holcomb says he met for two hours Tuesday with agency heads across state government to discuss ways to make sure pupils are safe. He says he'll announce specific recommendations soon, but says they're likely to include ways to guarantee people who don't belong in the building don't get in, as well as making sure police and school security can properly coordinate on security drills or in case of an actual shooting threat.

Then-Governor Mike Pence created a school security grant fund after the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Connecticut. Holcomb says he didn't realize until he began reviewing existing security measures after the Parkland, Florida, shooting how far ahead of other states Indiana is. Most schools have some form of security system to prevent people other than students and staff from getting in the door.

The deadline to file legislation is long past, but legislators are still considering several bills relating to school security, and a new proposal could easily be inserted into one of them. 

There are also bills under consideration to repeal the fee for lifetime gun permits, and to allow licensed gun owners to bring their weapons into churches. Existing law prohibits guns on school property, and supporters want an exception for church-based schools when school is not in session. That bill has become a magnet for amendments from legislators on both sides of the gun debate proposing further tightening or loosening of gun restrictions.

Senate President Pro Tem David Long has said he's "not happy with" the bill repealing the permit fee, which also eliminates point-of-purchase background checks for gun buyers who have less than a lifetime permit. Both bills face Thursday deadlines to clear the next step of the legislative process.

Gov. Eric Holcomb (Photo: Eric Berman/WIBC)

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