Governor Andrew Cuomo's office
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo

New York law prohibits local school systems from arming teachers

Aug. 1, 2019
Gov. Andrew Cuomo signs legislation that says school districts do not have the authority to allow teachers to carry firearms.

New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo has signed legislation that prohibits local school districts from allowing teachers and administrators to carry guns on school grounds.

The governor says the legislation continues the state's efforts to strengthen gun laws.

"The answer to the gun violence epidemic plaguing this country has never been and never will be more guns, and today we're expanding New York's nation-leading gun safety laws to further protect our children," Cuomo says. "These measures will help slow the proliferation of guns by keeping unneeded firearms out of school zones and helping to ensure unwanted or illegal guns don't fall into dangerous hands."

In the wake of a rising number of deadly school shootings across the nation, many have proposed having teachers and other school employees trained and armed to help deter or prevent school shootings. Educators nationwide have generally disapproved of the idea of carrying guns. Opponents of arming teachers say it could create the potential for accidental shootings or other acts of violence.

The bill signed by Cuomo states that educational institutions can't issue written authorization to carry a gun to any teacher, professor, administrator or other person who is not primarily employed as a school resource officer, law enforcement officer or security guard. The bill takes effect immediately.

"While hundreds of districts across the country have decided to arm teachers in response to mass shootings, in New York, we said, 'not here,'" says State Sen. Todd Kaminsky. "Arming classroom teachers is dangerous and takes our focus off of getting weapons out of the hands of those who should not have them."

About the Author

Mike Kennedy | Senior Editor

Mike Kennedy, senior editor, has written for AS&U on a wide range of educational issues since 1999.

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