One elected official is pushing to do away with gun-free zones at his state’s schools. Patrick Neville, a Republican who survived the mass shooting at Columbine High School in 1999, serves in the state’s house as the minority leader and believes that the removal of such firearm restrictions could do more good than harm.
Neville, who was elected to the Colorado House in 2014, has repeatedly tried to do away with gun-free zones at schools, which are required by current state law at every K-12 public school.
In Colorado, those with a concealed carry permit can bring a firearm onto school property, according to a report by Fox News, but are required to lock them in a vehicle.
“Time and time again we point to the one common theme with mass shootings,” said Neville. “They occur in gun-free zones.”
He believes that law-abiding citizens should have the ability carry concealed weapons into school “to defend themselves and, most importantly, our children from the worst-case scenarios,” as long as they have the proper permits.
In 1999, two teens, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, killed 12 students and one faculty member, and injured 21 others, in the mass shooting that came to be known as the Columbine High School massacre. After law enforcement arrived on the scene, the pair exchanged fire with police officers before ultimately committing suicide.
Neville believes that, if the faculty at Columbine High School, which is located in Littleton, Colorado, were armed, more of his classmates may have survived.
“As a former Columbine student who was a sophomore during the shootings on April 20, 1999, I will do everything in my power to prevent Colorado families from enduring the hardships my classmates and I faced that day,” said Neville.
The recent mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, has reignited the gun control debate nationwide, including what changes may help prevent such events from occurring again.
On Valentines’ Day, 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz entered the school, where he was a former student, and opened fire on students and faculty, killing 17 and injuring over a dozen more.
A vote on Neville’s bill is scheduled for Tuesday, though it is considered unlikely to pass in the Democrat-controlled legislature.