Texas is expected to approve a measure allowing unlimited armed marshals at schools. Gov. Greg Abbott is expected to sign a bill that removes a cap on armed guards at public schools, according to The Associated Press. Texas’ current law limits the number of marshals to one per 200 students or one per building.
Texas created the school marshal program after the 2012 shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. Schools in Texas weren’t required to have marshals, and many that chose to add them didn’t immediately do so, the AP reported. Some larger districts instead have contracts with local law enforcement agencies.
Texas had fewer than 40 certified school marshals across more than 1,000 public school districts in early 2018, the AP reported. Applications rose sharply after the slayings at Santa Fe, increasing that figure to nearly 200.
Supporters of gun rights have argued marshals could save lives, while opponents have cited statistics denoting dozens of incidents of guns being mishandled at schools over the last five years.