California school administrators could be required to gather firearm information when registering students and search a student’s personal property in the event of a credible violent threat, according to a new gun safety bill.
State Bill 906, proposed by Sen. Anthony Portantino (D-La Cañada Flintridge), is designed give school districts the mandate they need to investigate and act on threats, according to Portantino.
“With common sense proactive measures, we can prepare educators and parents to identify red flags and ultimately prevent tragedies,” stated Portantino.
Portantino said that in previous school shootings there were often warning signs that people hesitated to act on, including in the Nov. 30 shooting at Oxford High School in Michigan, where four people were killed and seven others injured.
Ethan Crumbley, the 15-year-old shooting suspect, used a gun he had in his backpack to open fire on students just hours after a meeting with school officials regarding behavior concerns.
Crubley’s backpack was never searched for the weapon, which had been a Christmas present from his parents, the Los Angeles Times reported.
In 2019, in Saugus, California, 16-year-old Nathaniel Berhow shot five classmates, fatally wounding two of them, before killing himself.
Investigators are still unsure if the weapon, described as a ghost gun, used in the killings had belonged to Berhow or his late father.
“Making information available to schools will help them assess threats and educating parents on the importance of safe storage will make homes safer, too,” Portantino stated.
State Bill 906 proposes the following:
- The State Department of Education and the Department of Justice develop a model for public or charter schools in the event of a threat or perceived threat of a mass shooting incident.
- Require parents or guardians upon registering a student for public or charter school to disclose whether any firearms are in the student’s home and provide details on ownership, storage, and accessibility of those firearms to the student.
- Require schools to immediately report a credible violent threat to law enforcement authorities and school leaders, and in consultation with law enforcement, must search a student’s on-campus property for possible firearms.
- Require schools to include information related to safe storage of firearms in an annual notification provided to parents or guardians.
Portantino has authored several other California gun safety laws, which have been signed by Gov. Gavin Newsom.