Overwhelming Support from Law Enforcement and Public Safety Officials
The experts weighed in on The Safe Schools Act of 2019 at the State House on March 19th.
Col. James Manni, Superintendent of the RI State Police, along with other R.I. law enforcement and public health officials, testified to the House Judiciary Committee about the dangers of concealed carry firearms on school grounds.
Risks Outweigh Benefits
All of the experts agreed that allowing concealed carry permit (CCP) holders to bring guns into schools increase the risk of scenarios such as:
- Accidental discharge of the firearm
- A student finding a CCP holder’s gun in a handbag, desk, or bathroom
- A dispute that escalates in an incident with a CCP holder’s firearm
The consensus is that these risks FAR outweigh the potential benefits of stopping an active shooter, which is a very rare occurence.
Col. Manni called the interjection of CCP holders with guns into schools “a recipe for a disaster,” due to a serious lack of training that would undoubtedly ratchet up the chaos in a school shooting incident.
In fact, Col. Manni said he thought the qualifications to obtain a CCP in Rhode Island are very inadequate.
To top it all off, FBI data shows that concealed carry permit holders actually stopping an active shooter is very rare and more incidents were stopped by UNARMED civilians (also very rare).
Two Rhode Island Concealed Carry Permit Holder Incidents
May 2008 - Cranston Firefighter Jim Pagano Murdered by CCP Holding Neighbor
"I am haunted by my decision each and every day," said shooter Nicholas Gianquitti, an ex-Providence police officer who was retired on disability due to a knee injury.
The incident occured during Pagano's son's birthday party, after a tennis ball hit Gianquitti's car.
"My brother was murdered over a tennis ball," said Lisa Pagano in court. She said she is still undergoing counseling, as are the other family members who witnessed the shooting.
Gianquitti was convicted of second-degree murder and is serving a life sentence.
July 2013 - CCP Holder Fired from RIC for Leaving Loaded Handgun in Dorm Bathroom
Robert Panciocco, employed as a housekeeper at Whipple Hall, acknowledged bringing the loaded gun on campus, but said it was unintentional. The ruling to fire Panciocco states that he realized that his semiautomatic pistol was in his back pocket at work at about 10:30 am; he left work around 1:20 pm and realized hours later tht his gun was missing. It was later found by police in a trash can near the building.
Panciocco held concealed carry permits in Maine, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island, and was also certified by the NRA as an instructor for “Pistol and Personal Protection in the Home.”
CCP Mishaps in Schools Occur with Alarming Frequency
These are just SOME of the incidents that have been reported in the media. Click the date to see the media report for any of these incidents.
February 2019, Bus Driver Shot with Student on Board, MN
78-year-old school bus driver shot by CCP holding security guard in apparent road rage incident; the 8-year old student on board was not physically injured.
January 2019, Kingston High School, MI
CCP holding grandfather attending elementary school basketball game forgets loaded handgun at the school. The gun was found in the bleachers by adults who notified police.
January 2019, Mustang High School, OK
Loaded gun found by staff belonging to an employee with CCP, who planned to go target shooting, but forgot to remove it from his bag before coming into the school.
October 2018, Somerset Academy Bay School, FL
Fifth-grade student finds loaded handgun in a bathroom accidentally left behind by the school security guard; no injuries reported.
October 2018, Anona Elementary School, FL
While demonstrating how to do a backflip to third graders in the school yard, a CCP holding substitute teacher's handgun, loaded with 19 rounds of ammunition, dropped from his waistband; no injuries were reported.
March 2018, Seaside High School, CA
Teacher accidentally fires semiautomatic weapon at ceiling during gun safety training class; one student is injured by a bullet fragment, two students suffer non-gunshot injuries.
February 2018, Harmony Learning Center, MN
A third grade student pressed the trigger of a school liaison officer’s holstered weapon while the officer was talking with some students; the gun discharged through the holster and the bullet hit the floor, no one was injured.
February 2018, Elliott Point Elementary School, FL
Parent finds loaded handgun in bathroom, left behind by school resource officer; no injuries reported.
November 2017, Texarkana College, TX
Student accidentally shoots himself in the knee in the parking lot while showing his gun to another student.
October 2017, Oxford High School, MI
Student in scuffle with uniformed deputy reached for the offier's gun and was able to press the trigger; one bullet struck the floor and ricocheted into a nearby interior wall; no injuries were reported.
August 2017, Utah Valley University, UT
A student with a valid concealed carry permit, accidentally fired his gun at a restaurant on campus; the bullet hit a table and a light, no injuries were reported.
May 2017, Augusta High School, KS
A man with a concealed carry permit accidentally shot himself in the foot; the bullet ricocheted off the ground, flying more than 50 feet, and hitting a woman in the calf.
April 2017, University of St. Thomas, MN
Student with a concealed carry permit accidentally shoots a bullet through the wall; a student in the next room suffered a gunshot injury to the head which required surgery.
November 2016, Bay City Western High School, MI
School resource officer, also a Bay City Sheriff’s Deputy, negligently discharged a gun, which went through at least one wall and struck a teacher who was teaching a class in the neck.
September 2016, Cumberland Christian School, PA
A 63-year-old teacher left her loaded pistol in bathroom where four children, aged 6 to 8 found and handled it; no one was injured and the teacher resigned and was charged.
May 2016, Oscar Patterson Elementary School, FL
A part-time correctional officer accidentally shot himself in the knee while at the school for a job interview; no students were injured and the man was treated for non-life threatening injuries.
May 2015, Utah Valley University, UT
Student at firearms training course for people hoping to become certified police officers in Utah accidentally shoots another student; victim undergoes “very minor” surgery.
September 2014, Idaho State University, ID
Professor, and concealed carry permit holder, shoots himself in the foot during class two months after campus-carry goes into effect.
July 2013, Rhode Island College, RI
Staff member with CCPs in several states as well as NRA-certification as a "Pistol and Personal Protection in the Home" instructor, was fired after bringing a loaded handgun to work and losing it; it was later found in a garbage can.
May 2013, Rangeivew High School, CO
A school worker, who also works as an armed security guard for a different employer, accidentally shoots a student in the leg in the parking lot; student undergoes surgery.
November 2011, Long Island University, NY
Criminal Justice professor, a retired police officer, was attempting to safeguard his handgun in the hallway of the campus building before he accidentally discharged it, shooting himself in the leg.