Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear signed into law Friday a bill that requires school resource officers to carry a firearm.
"I simply cannot ask a school resource officer to stop an armed gunman entering a school without them having the ability to not only achieve this mission, but also to protect themselves," Beshear, a Democrat, said during a press conference.
The legislation, effective immediately, was passed with bipartisan support in both Republican-controlled chambers of the state legislature, the Washington Examiner reports.
“This new legislation, which goes into effect immediately, is crucial to the General Assembly’s continued efforts to protect Kentucky’s children, teachers and staff by improving the safety of our schools,” Senate Education Chairman Max Wise, the sponsor of the Senate bill, said this week. “I am appreciative of all those who provided the necessary input and support to see this measure come to fruition.”
The state General Assembly created a bipartisan committee to improve school safety following a deadly shooting at Marshall County High School in January 2018 that killed two students. The group traveled throughout Kentucky and talked to teachers, students, parents, and mental health professionals before crafting the legislation.
Nationwide some school boards have prohibited sworn school resource officers from carrying firearms in schools.