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A look at the economy and business outlook in Virginia.

General Assembly Measures on Enhancing School Safety

Lawmakers in Richmond this legislative session are hoping to minimize the risk of gun violence in Virginia's public schools.

One measure that made its way easily through committee this morning would actually allow school security officers who have worked in law enforcement before to carry a gun when working.

Delegate Scott Lingamfelter, a Republican from Northern Virginia, says individual school boards would have to sign off on the idea -- but he hopes they will.

"And I think those that do, could one day forestall a terrible tragedy,” said Lingamfelter.

Other lawmakers have proposed an alert system in all new schools -- a kind of ‘fire alarm’ but for gunshots. Delegate Scott Taylor, a Republican from Virginia Beach, explained how it would work.

"So there are sensors, and these sensors would detect, in fact yes this was a shot and it would alert first responders to where the potential shooter is if there is an active shooter,” said Taylor.

Although the measure was moved forward for financial analysis, it faces a higher hurdle to become law. That's because the alarms could cost about half a million dollars and both legislators local school boards alike seemed unwilling to take on that expense.

Mallory Noe-Payne is a Radio IQ reporter based in Richmond.
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