New State Law Allows Armed Officers in Kentucky Schools

FRANKFORT, Ky. — Governor Andy Beshear signed Senate Bill 8 into state law Friday.

The school safety measure requires armed, sworn law enforcement officers, already working in Kentucky schools, must participate in specialized security curriculum and training. The bill, which received bi-partisan support among state lawmakers during the general assembly session, passed the state Senate 34-1 and the House 78-8.

Governor Beshear said, “I simply cannot ask a school resource officer to stop an armed gunman entering a school without them having the ability to not only achieve this mission but also to protect themselves. We must be able to stop the worst of the worst, which we have now seen several times just in my lifetime.”

In his budget address last month, Beshear proposed $18.2 million to fund statewide school security upgrades.

Last year, in the wake of the Marshall County shooting, state lawmakers passed the School Safety and Resiliency Act — Senate Bill 1 — which provided standards for schools to help improve the physical and mental health of students. SB 1 required school resource officers be in schools.