Lawmaker Who Was Caught Illegally Packing Heat at Airport Proposes Arming Teachers

Thursday, January 31, 2013
Assemblyman Tim Donnelly

Republican State Assemblyman Tim Donnelly, cited a year ago for carrying a loaded concealed weapon without the proper permit at Ontario International Airport, introduced legislation this week to arm school employees, including teachers.

Assembly Bill 202 would create a School Marshal Program to train and arm school employees, while allowing them to conceal their weapons and remain anonymous in performance of their extra-curricular activity. The bill is Tea Party activist Donnelly’s response to the Sandy Hook massacre that claimed the lives of 20 children and six adults.

The bill was co-authored by fellow Republican Assembly members Shannon Grove, Curt Hagman, Diane L. Harkey, Brian Jones and Donald P. Wagner.

Democratic state Senator Leland Yee called the proposal “absolutely ludicrous” and Senator Ted Lieu said school safety shouldn’t rely on “who can win a gunfight.”  

Donnelly pleaded no contest in March 2012 to two misdemeanor gun charges for getting caught with a loaded .45-caliber firearm in his carry-on luggage in January. He was fined $2,215 and given three years probation. Donnelly was also told not to use, possess or own a firearm not registered to him.

At the time, Donnelly said he needed the gun because of death threats he received after beginning a campaign to overturn the Dream Act, a law that lets undocumented immigrants receive college financial aid. The two-term assemblyman from the High Desert of Southern California is an activist against illegal immigration and the founder of California’s chapter of the Minuteman Project.

Donnelly was featured as a “Difference Maker” in 2006 on Stephen Colbert’s television show for leading a group of Minutemen to the border between California and Mexico where they built a 400-foot fence to block illegal immigration that they admitted was far too flimsy to keep anyone out of the country.  

Donnelly has announced his intention to run for governor next year.

–Ken Broder


To Learn More:

Donnelly Unveils School Marshal Plan (by Lynnea Lombardo, Victor Valley Daily Press)

Teachers Need Gun Training, California Assemblyman Tim Donnelly Says (by Beau Yarbrough, San Bernardino Sun)

California Lawmakers Propose Arming Teachers, Other School Workers (by Patrick McGreevy, Los Angeles Times)

Bill to Arm School Employees Introduced in California (by Sharon Bernstein, NBC)

Tim Donnelly Bill Would Arm California School Employees (by Jeremy B. White, Sacramento Bee)

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