House passes school safety bill amid gun protests


The bill, which is backed by the NRA, would fund training for students, school personnel and law enforcement to detect early signs of violence. "The bill also provides for the creation of an anonymous reporting system to provide tips about potential attacks and persons who may be inclined to commit acts of violence on campus".

"Today, as students across the country are marching for change by walking out of their classrooms, I think it was appropriate for the House, with my support, to pass this bipartisan bill, because if there is one place students should feel safe, it is at school", Rep. John Curtis said.

No parallel measure was pending in the Senate, where a somewhat more ambitious bill was being debated, but prospects for meaningful gun control reforms in Congress remained remote in the face of stiff resistance from gun industry lobbyists.

The vote came one month after the February 14 shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, in which a lone gunman killed 17 people.

Since the Florida shooting, the Republican-led Congress and the Trump administration have considered measures to curb gun violence while trying to avoid crossing the powerful National Rifle Association lobby group, or threatening the right to bear arms enshrined in the U.S. Constitution's Second Amendment.

In the Senate, the Judiciary Committee held a hearing on the Florida shooting and failures by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and law enforcement to act on warning signs displayed by the gunman before the attack.

The bill authorizes $50 million per year for grants administered by the Department of Justice to fund training and other initiatives meant to enhance school safety, and $25 million annually for physical improvements such as metal detectors, stronger locks, and emergency notification and response technologies for schools to notify law enforcement of emergencies. And as they did, Congress responded-sort of.

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"This legislation helps protect our nation's youth and educators by authorizing State-based grants that will support evidence-based violence prevention programs", the statement read.

The house is expected to vote on identical legislation on Wednesday. The two men have also teamed up on legislation that would encourage states to adopt so-called red flag laws, which would give law enforcement the authority to seize guns from people who pose a threat to themselves or others.

President Donald Trump reiterated his support last weekend for a bill by Sen.

Sam Blank and Alia Berry-Drobnich, both 14, said they skipped their 9th-grade classes Wednesday because what happened in Parkland made them afraid to go to school. "Hopefully the Senate can act on that legislation", Speaker Paul D. Ryan said Wednesday before the vote.

"This is about schools but it's not just about schools", Rubio told reporters Tuesday at a news conference about the Senate version of the bill.

The Students, Teachers and Officers - or STOP - School Violence Act authored by Rep.

Berry-Drobnich said while legislative efforts to improve school safety were good steps, it wasn't enough. "It is critical that we strengthen our laws in order to aid our law enforcement, address the needs of individuals struggling with serious mental illness, and develop proactive strategies for identifying and preventing violence in schools".