A Lee County school administrator’s request to carry firearms on public school grounds has been denied by Virginia’s Department of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS). The rural county’s effort to improve school safety has hit a procedural delay thanks to an opinion from Virginia’s Attorney General Mark Herring.
Lee County School Board unanimously passed a plan to allow teachers and school administrators to apply to be conservators of the peace, which would allow them to carry firearms. Part of the process requires applicants to apply to the Department of Criminal Justice Services. Last month DCJS asked Herring for an opinion on whether or not their department can issue conservators of the peace permits to anyone working at a public school. Gun grabber Herring said no.
The Department of Criminal Justice Services rejected Lee County Superintendent Brian Austin’s application to register as an armed special conservator of the peace, a designation the district hoped would permit school employees to carry firearms in schools.
In a denial letter, the department cited an advisory opinion from state Attorney General Mark R. Herring (D) that deemed as unlawful the plan by the school system in far southwest Virginia.
All Lee County is trying to do here is protect their students. They are a small rural county with an even smaller school budget and limited revenue opportunities. They do not have the funds to hire school resource officers for every school. Without new funds, Lee County came up with a plan that would only arm teachers and school administrators who choose to apply. No one who feels uncomfortable with a firearm would be asked to carry one and there are all kinds of special requirements for those who to do choose to apply. The plan is a fine alternative based on the needs and resources of the small rural county.
But Herring has always been against gun ownership. He came to the Attorney General’s office directly from the state senate where he was a hard-partisan liberal. He always carried the water for the radical left. He continues that today.
Lee County can appeal the decision from the Department of Criminal Justices Services. We encourage them to do so. If eventually successful, Lee County will be become the first public school district in Virginia to arm teachers.