The Mississippi Board of Education voted on Thursday to remove its prohibition of carrying legal guns in public schools, the Mississippi Free Press reported.
Board members cited Mississippi's 2011 enhanced-carry law in their reasoning, arguing that the 32-year policy of barring ''the possession of pistols, firearms, or weapons'' by anyone other than law enforcement was at odds with state requirements.
Mississippi education officials Brian McGarity and Erin Meyer told the Free Press that the board was simply complying with state law and that the revision is one of a handful in a broader effort to update the state's education policies.
''We've been reviewing a host of policies. In the past six months, there's been about 30 that have been revised,'' argued Meyer, the board's general counsel. ''For example, we just repealed a couple of charter school policies that were in place prior to the 2013 charter school law, so sometimes it just takes a while.''
Although the statewide ban is gone, local school districts will still be able to prohibit the practice individually. But the option to allow teachers and administrators with permits to carry guns on school grounds is now permissible.
The removal will take effect soon, with a policy requiring ''each local school district [to] have a policy concerning weapons on school premises'' temporarily in place.
Under state law, the education board must hold a hearing if at least 10 residents request it within 20 days of the department filing the notice, which is likely to happen. A 25-day public comment period is also required.
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