In the aftermath of the Parkland shooting, the student safety and gun control debate rages on. Kansas has taken matters to a whole new level by proposing that Schools that do not arm their teachers and staff should be held legally liable in the event that a school shooting does occur, CNN reported.

A bill currently in the works aims at ensuring that school staff are armed in the event that a shooting occurs, and places the burden of blame on schools that do not allow their teachers and staff to be armed.

House Bill 2789 states that a school shall be considered negligent and face the legal consequences if there is proof in the event of a school shooting that employees were not authorized by the school administration to carry concealed handguns.

This does not include security staff.

Insurance issues

Technically, teachers and school staff are allowed to carry guns in Kansas, if they have permits and meet individual school requirements. But in 2013, insurance companies began refusing to extend coverage to armed school staff and considered them a liability. This action led to some school districts banning the carrying of concealed weapons on school premises in a bid to ensure that staff remain covered by insurance.

Bill 2789 also aims to remedy that by making it illegal for insurance companies to deny coverage or charge exorbitant premiums in relation to these individuals. The proposed Bill also seeks to facilitate additional state-funded special training for armed school staff.

Support and opposition

In supporting the new bill, one of its co-authors, Rep. Blake Carpenter, stated that it was just a matter of time before a school shooting incident occurred in the state. He added that the bill was meant to prevent the loss of lives when it happens, and also ensure that schools are well prepared for such an eventuality.

Carpenter went on to point out that police usually take several precious minutes to arrive at the scene of such incidents, and that arming school staff would save many more lives, especially in smaller far-off districts.

An opponent of the bill, Democratic Rep. Brett Parker, said he had already received 5000 petitions from Kansas residents opposed to the bill.

He went on to share a photo on his Twitter handle, showing the stacks of written testimonies the House had received against Bill 2789.

During Tuesday's first hearing before the House Insurance Committee, protestors were present to show their disapproval of the new proposed bill.