McDonnell sends legislators school security bills
Feb 08, 2013 (Richmond Times-Dispatch - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --
Gov. Bob McDonnell today sent to the General Assembly a batch of legislation relating to the recommendations of his school safety task force.
The measures would increase the punishment for straw-man transactions -- when a person lawfully buys a firearm with the intent to give it to someone who isn't allowed to buy one -- require school boards to establish threat assessments teams and create a new criminal offense for entering a school while armed or with an explosive device with the intent to commit a violent felony.
"The proposals I'm making to the General Assembly will make schools and campuses in the commonwealth safer," McDonnell said in a statement. "They will also provide the resources necessary to assist our first responders, educators and mental health professionals in protecting our schools."
While the deadline for state lawmakers to file legislation has long passed, the governor can send a bill down at any time.
McDonnell created the school safety task force following the December elementary school shootings in Newtown, Conn. that killed 20 children and six adults.
He proposed eight new bills, according to his office.
The bill to increase the punishment for straw-man transactions would add a mandatory one-year punishment for the buyer and a 10-year mandatory minimum for the ineligible person if the transaction involves multiple firearms.
The bills also seek to extend civil immunity to people who report on someone who poses credible danger to one or more people on school property, to direct state departments to develop a model "critical incident" response training program for school staff, and a third to require school divisions to designate an emergency manager to coordinate school preparedness.
He also wants to require school boards to have a violence prevention committee and threat assessment team and annually collect and report quantitative data to the Department of Criminal Justice Services.
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