Officers in the Baltimore school system's police force won't be able to carry guns inside schools any time soon.

The city's delegation in Annapolis effectively killed legislation Friday that would have lifted the prohibition, putting an end to a contentious debate that divided the community, reports the Baltimore Sun.

So for the time being, Baltimore's school police will remain the only police officers in the state forbidden to have firearms within public schools while classes are in session.

"We couldn't come up with a consensus," said Del. Curt Anderson, chairman of the city's House delegation, explaining the decision. Anderson, a Democrat, had sponsored the bill at the city school board's request.

The 141-member school police force is the only one in Maryland dedicated exclusively to protecting a school district. The officers have jurisdiction throughout the city and can carry firearms while patrolling outside school grounds or when detailed to help the Baltimore Police Department with major events.

In other districts, members of the traditional police force provide security at schools and don't have special rules about carrying firearms inside buildings.