YUMA – (KSWT News 13) – Teachers packing heat. Is it the answer to school violence? Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne is pushing a bill that would allow teachers to have guns in the classroom. Reaction on the street is mixed.
Some people, like Gilbert Phelps, support guns in schools as a way to safeguard kids.
"I think it's a good plan. I think the better plan would be to let them keep the gun loaded and not locked, but safely stowed - safe from the children, but available in case they need it," says Phelps.
Other people, like Louie Alvarez, say it may put students in more danger and it sets a bad example.
"I think it's bad. Guns is just a bad idea period. Having them in the schools and stuff, you know. Teachers carrying them around, kids will want to carry them. You know? So I don't think they should be allowed in schools," says Alvarez.
If passed, the new law would let designated school district employees keep a gun on campus, but one that is locked away so kids can't get to it.
Horne says the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown, Connecticut proves we need to be better prepared.
"Newtown shook us all up. Some people have said just let all the teachers who want to have guns but I'm not in favor of that because I'm afraid of accidents, but I'm also not in favor of doing nothing, because if an incident occurred in Arizona and we could have stopped it or minimize the damage and didn't, we would regret it," said Horne.
Horne says district employees would go through a free twenty-four hour training course run by his investigators.
The program would be voluntary.
Horne's gun proposal would involve about two thousand schools. The state would pay for the training, but the individual would pay for their own gun.
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