Interview: Rep. Dwight Kiefert Talks About Bill To Allow Concealed Carry In Schools


Rep. Dwight Kiefert is the sponsor of HB1215 which, if passed, would allow local school districts to decide if they want to allow concealed carry of weapons on school property. The bill would also allow those schools to keep that decision a secret if they choose.


I was curious about Rep. Kiefert why schools should be able to decide this matter in secret. I wondered if the bill might not get some push-back from parents wanting to know if concealed carry was happening at the schools where they send their children.

Kiefert explained that his concern is that school districts which debate the issue and decide to ultimately not allow concealed carry might be making targets of themselves, notifying would-be shooters that their schools will continue to be vulnerable. Kiefert acknowledged, however, that the bill would allow schools to make their decisions public if they wish.

Kiefert’s bill is separate from HB1283 which doesn’t have the provision allowing the decision to be made in secret and which also removes the state prohibition on concealed carry in churches.

I’m sympathetic to Kiefert’s justification for the secrecy, but I’m not sure I’m convinced. Our schools are already “gun free zones” by default, which I’m afraid makes them targets by default. I’d like to see schools end the “gun free zone” nonsense for the sake of making all our children safer, but that debate should be had out in the open.

Rob Port is the editor of In 2011 he was a finalist for the Watch Dog of the Year from the Sam Adams Alliance and winner of the Americans For Prosperity Award for Online Excellence. In 2013 the Washington Post named SAB one of the nation's top state-based political blogs, and named Rob one of the state's best political reporters.

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  • SusanBeehler

    I hate the idea to have a “closed” meeting on this issue. As parents we need the right to participate in important decisions which could effect our children. He is basing this on his belief the killers are targeting “gun free” zone, I would support a bill requiring research on if this is really a motivator. What if it is just because the shooters have spent the majority of their time at these places and it is the familiarity of the place, not just because it is gun free? How can we be assured the gun protecting our school is in the hands of a well trained person, not just a hunter? As an advocate of open meetings I know for a fact meetings can be closed and than they do not stick to the reason for closing a meeting other things are discussed. I have proof board decisions have been made through an email, now we have another means to exclude citizens from meetings where policies are decided that affect us. Why should the second amendment trump our ability to govern ourselves?

  • WOOF

    High school students with concealed firearms in class.