Aug. 15, 2022

HARRISBURG – After the recent tragedy in Uvalde, Texas, where children and educators were killed at an elementary school, Rep. Aaron Bernstine (R-Beaver/Butler, Lawrence) has introduced legislation to enhance the safety of children and staff while on school property.

“Mass murderers are often attracted to “soft targets” where they know victims are not armed,” said Bernstine. “According to the Crime Prevention Resource Center, there has not been a single mass shooting in a school where staff were clearly allowed to carry a firearm.”

House Bill 2771 would allow school employees who possess a valid Pennsylvania concealed carry permit to be armed while on school property. An employee who wishes to carry a firearm on school property would also be required to complete a rigorous firearms course from a certified instructor with a signed certificate showing completion of a training and proficiency course for the firearm the employee intends to carry on school grounds. 

At the present time, 28 states make it clear in statute that teachers or school staff can be armed while on school property. Pennsylvania is not one of them.

“Unfortunately, we live in a time when every day that we send our kids to school, their lives are at risk,” said Bernstine. “Allowing school employees to be armed may help protect our children, and it would increase the amount of security around school campuses.”

Sen. Doug Mastriano (R-Cumberland/Franklin/York) has introduced Senate Bill 1288, legislation which is the same as Bernstine’s bill that would end Pennsylvania’s “gun-free school zones.”

“Sen. Mastriano and I are committed to securing our schools and ensuring that every child is safe. I'm proud to partner with him on this legislation,” Bernstine added.

House Bill 2771 will most likely be referred to the House Education Committee for consideration.

Representative Aaron Bernstine
10th Legislative District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Media Contact: Rick Leiner
717.260.6437 (office), 717.497.8478 (cell) /