DENVER, Colo. - Less than a week after 17 people died in a school shooting in Florida, protecting schools in Colorado is at the forefront of discussion among state lawmakers.
State Representative Patrick Neville the House Minority leader says, "We keep doing the same thing over and over and just expect that our students are going to be safe."
Neville was a sophomore during the Columbine shooting where 15 people died back in April of 1999. For him, protecting Colorado classrooms hits close to home. He says, "dropping my kids off at school the very next day was a really hard day for me."
Neville introduced HB18-1037, which would allow anyone with a concealed carry permit to bring a gun onto school grounds. It's the same bill he's proposed three years in a row with no success. In light of last week's shooting, he's hoping he might get more support. He said, "Guns are a part of our culture, guns are used for good more often than bad. We can't take them away, we shouldn't, and this bill actually says we can allow good people to protect our kids."
Another state lawmaker working to protect Colorado classrooms is Senator Larry Crowder of District 35. He's drafting a resolution that could come to voters this November.
Crowder hopes to create an entirely new security task force for schools across the state similar to Transportation Safety Administration or TSA. Crowder says, "If we're willing to protect people in the capitol like where we sit today or if we're willing to protect our airline passengers or social security, I think we should put that same emphasis on our youth."
A concern for the lawmaker is funding. If it goes to the voters, he's hoping the task forces could be funded through a small increase in the state sale's tax. He says, "it's expensive security but I don't believe we should protect adults and not protect the children. "
HB18-1037 goes before the House State, Veterans, and Military Affairs Wednesday afternoon.