The school massacre in Florida has sparked a surge in signups for active shooter classes across the country, while also creating a new type of insurance for employers to consider.
“They're certainly teachers, school administrators and people inolved with the schools, but we also have lots of active shooter trainings all over the country that are open to the general public,” says Emily Taylor, an attorney with Texas Law Shield.
Taylor says her group recently held active shooter trianing in a church in response to last November's mass shooting in Sutherland Springs, TX.
Employers are now debating whether active shooter training might become mandatory, or at least a necessity in the future.
“Is this now an occupational hazard – the idea that someone would come in as an active shooter?” asks Taylor. “Am I going to be standing up to OSHA standards if I don't provide some sort of training for this recognized hazard?”
Meanwhile, some insurers are drafting active shooter coverage to protect businesses against lawsuits as part of the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act signed into law following the 9/11 attacks, then reauthorized in 2015.
However, the government has yet to certify any acts of terrorism, foreign or domestic, that fall under this policy.
Taylors says many Texas business owners have been asking for clarification since the state's open carry law went into effect. “If a property owner posts that license handgun holders cannot come into their property, do they then owe an additional duty of security?”
She calls it uncharted territory still awaiting precedent to move forward.
“There are lawsuits stemming in Florida out of the Pulse shooting that are still pending,” she says. “The idea being that there was some sort of right to be secure in that nightclub which had disarmed people because it was a bar.”