Texas Republican Rep. Roger Williams believes his new school security bill could have prevented Tuesday’s high school shooting in Great Mills, Maryland.
Williams’ bill, H.R. 5107, creates a grant program within the Department of Education, empowering the secretary to disburse money to schools applying for grants -- using its existing budget authority to fund the checks.
“I think it could very well begin to secure the schools and keep the safety of our teachers and students,” Williams told ABC News.
Williams’ bill allows for schools to directly request exactly what they need – whether it’s bulletproof glass or magnetometers or school resource officers — after an independent security assessment.
“We're not arming teachers,” Williams said. “Every school's going to be different, but it will allow that school to begin to secure their buildings so we don't have these issues like again happened today in Maryland.”
Williams, who was on the field and injured during the shooting at a congressional baseball practice in Alexandria, Virginia last year, introduced the bill on Feb. 28 in the wake of the Parkland, Florida shooting that killed 17 on Feb. 14.
“It's a big issue with me. I may see it a little different than some people,” Williams said. “It doesn't leave your mind. When I see these things happening with the children, my heart just gets so heavy and that's why we've got to fix this.”
Williams says he doesn’t want to take guns away from “good people” but doesn’t think the debate over the Second Amendment should override the public’s desire for safe schools.
“I don't think though when you start talking about the gun debate, that we need to disarm the good people, but that's the debate we're going to have,” Williams said. “But that debate does not to be ahead of school safety. That's why I want this bill to get through, get it passed and get the president to sign it.”
“We need to get this bill passed and we need to secure these schools,” Williams concluded.