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House sends guns-in-schools bill to study committee

INDIANAPOLIS – House members shockingly backtracked on a controversial bill arming school personnel Thursday.

Both Democrats and Republicans applauded after accepting an amendment to remove the requirement that every school in Indiana have a school protection officer carrying a weapon. That person could be a staffer with minimal firearms training.

Instead, the issue will go to a study committee.

“We are moving very, very rapidly with the bill as currently written,” said Rep. Ed Soliday, R-Valparaiso. “When dealing with things that can do good and bad both, we need to weigh it carefully.

“We don’t want to hurt someone with an unintended consequence.”

The move came as a surprise after the House Education Committee and House Ways and Means Committee had signed off on the concept in recent days.

Senate Bill 1, which still contains language on school resource officers, now moves for a vote by the full chamber. School resource officers are law enforcement personnel assigned to districts or schools on a voluntary basis by schools.

For more on this story, see Friday's print edition of The Journal Gazette or visit www.journalgazette.net after 3 a.m. Friday.

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