New Weapons Detection System Being Deployed To Escambia Middle And High Schools

April 3, 2024

The Escambia County School District is deploying a new weapons detection system called OPENGATE to all middle and high schools.

The new technology allows for screenings to occur more frequently and to be less intrusive than traditional metal detector searches, the district said. Random screenings will be conducted quickly and in such a way that interruptions to instructional time will be limited.

“We are excited to deploy the OPENGATE technology to add one more layer of security to our schools,” said Superintendent Keith Leonard.  “We will always be proactive in our search for ways to make our campuses and offices more secure.”

“OPENGATE will identify individuals in possession of weapons, vape devices, and other prohibited items. It is our hope that our parents will continue to have conversations at home to discourage potentially harmful and disruptive items from being brought to our schools,” the district said.

The district has purchased 25 OPENGATE detectors and may purchase more.

Additional screenings will also take place at school board meetings and extracurricular events. Weapons of any kind are prohibited on any Escambia County school campus or district office.

Pictured: A school installation of the OPENGATE system in Lee County, Florida. Photos for, click to enlarge.


15 Responses to “New Weapons Detection System Being Deployed To Escambia Middle And High Schools”

  1. F Marquis on April 5th, 2024 11:42 am

    When I went to Tate High School, the majority of all of the pickup trucks had gun racks in the rear windows full of guns and there was never a problem and no one lifted an eye, but the youth and dynamics of society are quite different today. I agree it does all start at home.

  2. Never surprised on April 4th, 2024 5:13 pm

    @ Lebowski Loved your comment Kia Soul, blue hair, ect!

    @ AC We must of went to Tate High together, I remember gun racks in numerous trucks stacked with guns. I also remember guys having knives at school; but what I don’t remember is anyone dying from a gun or knife at school! Unfortunately this all starts at home.

    For those complaining that 18 year olds shouldn’t have rights to purchase guns; but are old enough to join our Military Forces & vote. See @Lebowski’s comment.

  3. AC on April 4th, 2024 10:38 am

    I remember when I was in high school, way back in the late ’70s and early ’80s, bringing a gun to school wasn’t a big deal. Almost all the pickups in the student parking lot had rifles and shotguns hanging from the gunracks in the back window because a lot of the teenagers went hunting before school. A lot of times we would go get our new guns and show them to our ag teacher inside the school. No one thought anything of it. We certainly never thought about shooting anyone. If we got into a fight. we got our butts whooped and shook hands and accepted whatever punishment we got. 40+ years later and we’re having to have cops and metal detectors in the same schools. What happened? Is it because we have more guns? Nope! It’s not a gun problem, it’s a people problem.

  4. Lebowski on April 3rd, 2024 5:45 pm

    @ jb

    “spend more and more of tax payer money trying to stop what could prevent it Instead of your governor now going to pass a bill for 18 yr old kids to buy gun!!! No family needs an arsenal
    so beat me up over it I do not care”

    Historically, one of our greatest freedoms as Americans is our ability to own whatever property we choose. There are limitations which either of us may disagree with. No other person or official should be able to limit another’s right to purchase and keep firearms. The same freedom should be extended to those of you who might wish to spend your money elsewhere; like on a Kia Soul, wallet chain, or blue hair dye.

  5. in response to... on April 3rd, 2024 4:39 pm

    JTE, parents buy vapes for their children. 18 year old buddies buy them as well. Parents don’t check their student’s belongings, or either they just don’t care if their kids vape/smoke. We have kids smoking daily in middle school. Parents will even come pick up their children’s vapes that have been confiscated. Things aren’t like they used to be. Parents are too worried about being “cool.”

  6. Someone on April 3rd, 2024 4:15 pm

    @JTE I hope you are being sarcastic. Kids get guns, alcohol, and tobacco and other illegal items all the time. Being under 18 isn’t going to stop them. Just as making something isn’t going to stop someone from getting any illegal items. They ask older friends to buy them for them, steal from adults and other kids, and in some cases the parents give them to them.

  7. Stephen on April 3rd, 2024 2:56 pm


    Regardless of how you, me, it anyone else feels about it, an 18 year old is NOT a child.

    If you can handle firearms, then they should be able to access them in the civilan world.

  8. JTE on April 3rd, 2024 1:10 pm

    Why do we need this if you can not get anything under the age of 18 this is to far

  9. D on April 3rd, 2024 12:51 pm

    At what point in history was it illegal for an 18year old to buy a gun? lol

  10. Bill T on April 3rd, 2024 11:50 am

    The beginning of the end!!! See this is ridiculous and out of control and what I mean is the so called parents have no control over themselves or the children they are attempting to raise !!! Not all children are bad it’s the ones that the parents try to be best friends with that are !!! No discipline at all

  11. employee on April 3rd, 2024 11:41 am

    a mom, I agree with you. But the good thing is that this will help combat the parents who are noncaring and uninvolved. We will now be able to send their kids home more easily for being caught with these things on campus. Once the parents have to start dealing with the behaviors instead of dropping them off at school to be babysat, maybe they will become more involved in their children’s lives.

  12. jb on April 3rd, 2024 10:21 am

    spend more and more of tax payer money trying to stop what could prevent it Instead of your governor now going to pass a bill for 18 yr old kids to buy gun!!! No family needs an arsenal
    so beat me up over it I do not care

  13. Tw on April 3rd, 2024 9:37 am

    Wrong approach. Hire a human to guard the children. Gun free zones are the problem.

  14. Relieved on April 3rd, 2024 8:18 am

    I am so glad to see this. Hopefully it will help with potential weapons and those nasty vapes. People do not realize what those do to your body. The detectors will hopefully make our safety personnel and authority’s jobs a little easier.

  15. A mom and bus driver on April 3rd, 2024 7:08 am

    It still isn’t going to work with asking parents to talk to their kids because most either say their kids doesn’t do anything wrong or they give it to their kids. There’s a few parents left that will actually do something. Of course the parents that do try have their hands tied because people want them to discipline but when they do abuse is hollered or the parents are reported. The bus drivers can’t do anything but report things and write referrals, even then it depends on who is who and they might get patted on the back of the hand. Alot of times, the bus drivers aren’t supported. The parents want to see on video that their kids are doing something wrong.

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