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McAuliffe signs bill to let ex-officers be armed in schools

(MGN Online)

RICHMOND, Va. (WSET) -- Gov. Terry McAuliffe has signed legislation that will allow some retired police officers to conceal carry while working as security guards at schools.

Guns are generally banned from school grounds under state law, with an exception for active law enforcement personnel assigned to schools as part of their official duties.

House Bill 1392 would give schools the option of hiring armed security guards as school board employees, but only if the guard is a retired law enforcement officer who has been retired for 10 years or less.

McAuliffe quietly signed the bill Monday, according to the state's online legislative system.

It will go into effect on July 1.

Delegates in support of the bill said it will mean better protection for teachers and students.

“This gives rural communities the added benefit of being able to hire these retired police officers because they just don’t have enough cops to go around,” said Del. L. Scott Lingamfelter of Prince William County to the Richmond Times Dispatch.

The bill does not force local school boards to hire armed guards, but opens it up as an option for localities that want to pursue it.

This year's version of the bill was amended to require armed guards to prove that they meet specific training and qualification standards, including receiving instruction in active shooter response. Schools boards would also have to check with local police before granting a security guard the ability to carry a gun.

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