(Washington, DC) – Included in the 2018 Omnibus Appropriations Bill signed into law by president Friday are provisions from two bills cosponsored by Representative Steve Knight (R-CA): the STOP School Violence Act and the Fix NICS Act.
The Student, Teachers and Officers Preventing School Violence Act, or STOP Act, authorizes a $75 million grant program for schools to improve security measures on campuses to identify individuals who show early signs associated with school violence and implement appropriate measures.
It also allows for the limited use of funds for security apparatus such as metal detectors and alarm systems.
“More must be done to protect our schools and our children,” Knight said. “The STOP Act is a good first step to improving school security and ensuring our kids have a safe environment to learn and grow.”
In another measure to improve school safety and security, Rep. Knight also recently introduced his own bill, H.R. 5307, The School Training, Equipment and Protection Act, or STEP Act.
This bill supplements the STOP Act by providing additional resources for schools to acquire barricade technology, surveillance systems, and training programs for faculty and local law enforcement. These funds would be more specifically targeted for security and law enforcement measures than the funds in the STOP Act.
“The STEP Act will boost security at our schools and make sure that everyone is more prepared to respond during crisis situations,” Knight said. “The decisions in the first seconds and minutes during these incidences are often a matter of life and death. The resources and training that this bill would provide for will help law enforcement officers and school faculty save lives.”
The Omnibus bill also includes provisions from the Fix NICS Act. This bill addresses specific loopholes and improves reporting accountability for the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, or NICS, that is required in order to purchase a firearm from a federally licensed firearms seller.
“We have laws on the books prohibiting convicted criminals from purchasing guns,” Knight said. “However, loopholes and bureaucratic inefficiencies have led to people falling through the cracks and getting firearms when they shouldn’t. This bill will strengthen NICS and protect the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens.”
Knight is an 18-year veteran of the Los Angeles Police Department and currently serves on the Law Enforcement Task Force in the United States House of Representatives.