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Bill Would Require Teachers To Get Trained Before Carrying Guns In Schools

Zach Herndon

Legislation advancing in the Senate would require teachers who carry guns in school to undergo training, including specialized weapons training and behavioral assessments.

Teachers can currently carry guns in schools – if a school board approves – without any training.

The bill would require educators and staff who carry guns in school to complete 40 hours of training in a variety of areas, including emergency medical preparation, legal ramifications, and psychological assessment.

That last component is critical, says Crystal Havins. She’s a licensed mental health professional who consults on firearms training.

“If I see a behavior that is concerning to me, I can talk to my firearms instructor or I can talk to my safety instructor and I can say, ‘I’m seeing a little bit of stress here," Havins says. "I’m not sure this should move forward the way it is.’”

But Moms Demand Action’s Jennifer Hann says the bill normalizes the practice of arming teachers.

“Arming teachers doesn’t make children safer," Hann says. "In fact, it actually increases the risk of shootings – like a teacher’s gun falling into the wrong hands or a gun discharging unintentionally.”

The bill is on the Senate floor.

Contact Brandon at bsmith@ipbs.org or follow him on Twitter at @brandonjsmith5.

Brandon Smith is excited to be working for public radio in Indiana. He has previously worked in public radio as a reporter and anchor in mid-Missouri for KBIA Radio out of Columbia. Prior to that, he worked for WSPY Radio in Plano, Illinois as a show host, reporter, producer and anchor. His first job in radio was in another state capitol, in Jefferson City, Missouri, as a reporter for three radio stations around Missouri. Brandon graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a Bachelor of Journalism in 2010, with minors in political science and history. He was born and raised in Chicago.