California lawmaker calls out Dennis Baxley over his guns in schools proposal


Republican state Sen. Dennis Baxley recently withdrew a bill to allow designated people to carry concealed firearms on school grounds.

Nevertheless, it didn’t slow down a Democratic congressman from California from tearing into the idea Saturday during a national radio program.

Baxley sponsored SB 1236, a proposal to allow school principals or superintendents to designate individuals who could carry guns during school hours. Those receiving the designation would have to meet training and background requirements.

SB 1236 would also require schools to receive “active shooter situation training” conducted by a law enforcement agency and to undergo safety and emergency reviews every three years by law enforcement.

The legislation is on the agenda of a Senate Judiciary Committee meeting next week.

“I’ve actually pulled this bill back, because I want to look at every option,” Baxley told NPR’s Weekend Edition host Scott Simon Saturday morning. “What we’re dealing with is the fact that with a gun free zone we have made inadvertently these students a sterile target, and the (shooters) enter this campus knowing that no one is prepared to stop them.

“And I’m very interested in that first five minutes so that we can prevent an incident from becoming a massacre, and we have security people, we have a lot of trained military people and with some additional training, they’re embedded in these faculties, they already have responsibility for security, and we can have a concealed weapon on these people so that they can immediately act to change the directive.”

Explaining why he’s withdrawn his bill, Baxley said, “I think we should look at every option on how to surgically place an armed resistance in that first minutes so that we don’t have an incident turned into a massacre.”

Simon, who introduced Baxley to the show by saying the NRA endorsed him, then interjected, asking if that was a practical solution to cut down on school shootings? Wouldn’t it just add more firepower?

Baxley responded it would not, repeating that there needs to be a way to address the situation in the first five minutes of a shooter entering a school campus.

After Simon concluded his interview with Baxley, he pivoted to speaking with California U.S. Rep. Jackie Speier, a member of the House Intelligence Committee, about the indictment Friday of 13 Russian nationals by the Department of Justice. However, Speier said she couldn’t allow Baxley’s comments to go unaddressed.

“I’m just furious that the NRA has so infiltrated every state Legislature, the Congress of the US, so we can’t even have a sane conversation,” said Speier. “The reason why 17 kids are dead today and their parents are screaming and crying on TV and there’s another 15 injured is because that young man had an assault weapon and he was able to discharge as many bullets as he did. We have got to start by putting back in place that assault-weapon ban.

“No kid needs an assault weapon. No adult needs an assault weapon. And we’ve got to do a whole lot more than that, but to somehow think this is just a mental health issue is just fundamentally ignorant.”

Speier’s interview with Simon here.

A day after the Parkland shooting massacre, Fleming Island Republican Senator Rob Bradley, the Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman, said he was not going to take up any gun-rights bills during the rest of Session unless the proposals dealt with mental health issues.


Material from the News Service of Florida was used in this post.

Mitch Perry

Mitch Perry has been a reporter with Extensive Enterprises since November of 2014. Previously, he served five years as political editor of the alternative newsweekly Creative Loafing. Mitch also was assistant news director with WMNF 88.5 FM in Tampa from 2000-2009, and currently hosts MidPoint, a weekly talk show, on WMNF on Thursday afternoons. He began his reporting career at KPFA radio in Berkeley and is a San Francisco native who has lived in Tampa since 2000. Mitch can be reached at [email protected].


Florida Politics is a statewide, new media platform covering campaigns, elections, government, policy, and lobbying in Florida. This platform and all of its content are owned by Extensive Enterprises Media.

Publisher: Peter Schorsch @PeterSchorschFL

Contributors & reporters: Phil Ammann, Drew Dixon, Roseanne Dunkelberger, A.G. Gancarski, Anne Geggis, Ryan Nicol, Jacob Ogles, Cole Pepper, Gray Rohrer, Jesse Scheckner, Christine Sexton, Drew Wilson, and Mike Wright.

Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @PeterSchorschFL
Phone: (727) 642-3162
Address: 204 37th Avenue North #182
St. Petersburg, Florida 33704