AZ Attorney General proposes arming one educator per school

AZ Attorney General proposes arming one educator per school

Posted: Updated:

Web Producer: Lucy Valencia, Assignment Desk Editor

PHOENIX (AP) — Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne proposed a plan Wednesday to allow one educator in each school to carry a gun after they receive free firearms training from law enforcement.

The proposal comes less than two weeks after a gunman fatally shot 20 first-graders and six educators during a Dec. 14 rampage at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn.

Horne said the program, which would first need legislative action to amend state law, is aimed at reducing the risk of similar shootings in Arizona.

Under the plan, which Horne said is backed by sheriffs in Pinal, Mohave and Apache counties, each public school could designate a principal or educator to keep the gun in a secure, locked location at the facility. It would limit gun-carriers to one per school and would be a voluntary program.

However, Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu came out with his own, much broader plan on Wednesday aimed at training multiple educators per school to carry guns, noting his proposal and Horne's were ‘‘the difference between putting your toe in a pool or jumping in.''

‘‘And they should not be in a locked box these weapons,'' Babeu said. ‘‘Our schools are not as safe as we think they are, and we need to do something about it.''

Some schools around the state already have an armed law enforcement presence through the so-called school resource officer program, but budget constraints have cut it back.

‘‘The ideal solution would be to have an armed police officer in each school,'' Horne said, echoing calls from the National Rifle Association since the Connecticut shootings.

The next best thing, he said, is to arm an educator, comparing that proposal to allowing pilots to carry guns after the 9/11 terror attacks.

Arizona House Minority Leader Chad Campbell, D-Phoenix, called the plan ‘‘a horrible, horrible idea.''

‘‘Teachers are not cops. Teachers are not military. Their job is to teach our kids, not to be worried about how to defend themselves in a tactical situation.'' Campbell said Wednesday, adding that he will instead push for additional funding to fully restore the school resource officer program.

‘‘That's where we need to focus our money,'' Campbell said. ‘‘The last thing you want is a bunch of people with guns at schools making situations worse.''

Babeu said his plan would focus on arming as many educators as possible on a volunteer basis, even those who work at schools where a law enforcement officer already is present. Horne's plan would limit gun-toting teachers to schools where there is no armed presence.

‘‘If a bunch of teachers brought guns to school, I'm fearful the kids could get access to them,'' Horne said.

Apache County Sheriff Joe Dedman said the issue needs to be studied more before authorities approach the Legislature.

‘‘I'm not ruling out any of the ideas,'' he said.

Trish Carter, a spokeswoman for Mohave County Sheriff Tom Sheahan, said he was ‘‘on board'' with Horne's idea, but noted it was too soon to comment or offer specific details.

Currently, only Utah and Kansas allow people with concealed weapons permits to carry guns in schools. In the wake of the Connecticut shootings, more than 200 teachers in Utah signed up for free concealed-weapons training being offered Thursday by the Utah Shooting Sports Council.

  • Email Alert Sign Up

    Sign up here to receive breaking news stories from KSWT.com and morning updates to your email inbox.

    * denotes required fields


    Thank you for signing up! You will receive a confirmation email shortly.

KSWT-TV Affiliates

Go to KSWT-TV's Facebook page
  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • National

    Obama warns of delay in social sec. checks and veteran's benefits

    Obama warns of delay in social sec. checks and veteran's benefits

    Web Producer: Lucy Valencia, Assignment Desk Editor WASHINGTON (AP) -- Declaring "we are not a deadbeat nation," President Obama warned on Monday that Social Security checks and veterans' benefits willMore >>
    Declaring "we are not a deadbeat nation," President Obama warned on Monday that Social Security checks and veterans' benefits will be delayed if congressional Republicans fail to increase the government's borrowing authority in a looming showdown over the nation's debt and spending.More >>
  • Topic of the Day

    Morning after pill moved to over-the-counter

    Morning after pill moved to over-the-counter

    WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Plan B morning-after pill is moving over-the-counter, a decision announced by the Food and Drug Administration just days before a court-imposed deadline. Tuesday, the FDA loweredMore >>
    The Plan B morning-after pill is moving over-the-counter, a decision announced by the Food and Drug Administration just days before a court-imposed deadline.More >>
  • Coming soon...Wal-Mart

    Coming soon...Wal-Mart

    On Wednesday the Yuma City Council voted to change the zoning designation on the proposed land acquired by Wal-Mart. The property located near the intersection of Avenue B and 8th Street was the home of a mobile home park as zones for residential use; the new designation changes that to mixed which will allow the new store to move in to the property. The new store will be the fifth Wal-Mart for Yuma County.More >>
    On Wednesday the Yuma City Council voted to change the zoning designation on the proposed land acquired by Wal-Mart. The property located near the intersection of Avenue B and 8th Street was the home of a mobile home park as zones for residential use; the new designation changes that to mixed which will allow the new store to move in to the property. The new store will be the fifth Wal-Mart for Yuma County.More >>
  • Gov. Brewer appoints Maricopa County judge

    Gov. Brewer appoints Maricopa County judge

    Gov. Jan Brewer has filled a judicial vacancy in Maricopa County Superior Court.More >>
    Gov. Jan Brewer has filled a judicial vacancy in Maricopa County Superior Court.More >>
  • Crime Watch

    Police investigating dead body found in parked car

    Police investigating dead body found in parked car

    YUMA, Ariz. (13 On Your Side) - Yuma police say a dead woman was found in a car parked at Food City on 8th Street on Tuesday night, at around 6:20 p.m. Police are investigating her cause of death andMore >>
    Yuma police are investigating the death of a woman who was found in a parked car Tuesday night.More >>
  • Father beats accused child abuser, Daytona police say

    Father beats accused child abuser, Daytona police say

    Police say a Daytona Beach father beat an 18-year-old man unconscious after finding him sexually abusing his son. Authorities say the father called 911 early Friday after he walked in on the alleged abuse.Frolander motionless on the living room floor. He had several knots on his face and was bleeding from the mouth. Police said the father -- who was not identified -- told investigators he walked in as Frolander was abusing the boy. Police did not release the boy's age, but Frolander is charge...More >>
    Police say a Daytona Beach father beat an 18-year-old man unconscious after finding him sexually abusing his son. Authorities say the father called 911 early Friday after he walked in on the alleged abuse.Frolander motionless on the living room floor. He had several knots on his face and was bleeding from the mouth. Police said the father -- who was not identified -- told investigators he walked in as Frolander was abusing the boy. Police did not release the boy's age, but Frolander is charge...More >>
  • 13 arrested in Phoenix area stolen property probe

    13 arrested in Phoenix area stolen property probe

    Authorities say 13 people have been arrested after search warrants were served in Gilbert and Chandler after a seven-month drug and stolen property investigation.More >>
    Authorities say 13 people have been arrested after search warrants were served in Gilbert and Chandler after a seven-month drug and stolen property investigation.More >>
  • California

    Border patrol agents rescue 3 people and arrest gang member

    Border patrol agents rescue 3 people and arrest gang member

    YUMA, Ariz. (KSWT News 13) - El Centro Sector Border Patrol agents had a busy weekend. Agents arrested a dangerous gang member and then followed that up by rescuing three men lost in the desert. AlsoMore >>
    El Centro Sector Border Patrol agents had a busy weekend.More >>