Dallas State Rep. Jason Villalba Files Bill to Allow Appointment of Armed School Marshals

Photo by Billy Surface

Republican state Rep. Jason Villalba, of Dallas, has filed a bill that would allow schools to appoint “school marshals,” employees who would carry guns in an effort to protect students. HB-1009 – the “Protection of Texas Children Act” – would allow trained and certified school employees to “use lethal force upon the occurrence of an attack in the classroom or elsewhere on campus,” according to the Texas Tribune.

“We’re going to make sure the person serving is essentially a peace officer,” Villalba told the paper. “We’ve created a new class of law enforcement.”

Current law states that Texas school district can grant permission to employees wishing to carry firearms on campus. Villalba’s bill would regulate the designation and training of the marshals. The bill is sure to draw support of state Republicans, something Villalba could use after a snafu last week. At a recent forum, the freshman rep suggested that President Obama’s Affordable Care Act was permanent, and Texans should make the best of the situation. This did not sit well with state conservatives.

“If the federal government wants to impose Obamacare, they should do so without the aid and support of the Texas Legislature,” wrote Michael Quinn Sullivan, the president and chief executive of Empower Texans and Texans for Fiscal Responsibility, according to the Morning News. “Mr. Villalba’s position on Obamacare puts him on a collision course not only with [Sen. Ted Cruz and Attorney General Greg Abbott] but also Gov. Rick Perry and the overwhelming majority of the GOP.”

It’s not hard to imagine a world where introducing a gun bill – even one planned for months – would help smooth those waves.