Rural Teacher Gun Bill Passes AZ Senate

Rural Teacher Gun Bill Passes AZ Senate

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PHOENIX – (KSWT News 13) - The Arizona State Senate has approved a new bill that would allow teachers and administrators in rural areas to carry handguns in schools.

The bill stipulates the school must be 20 miles and 30 minutes from the nearest law enforcement office.

Senator Rich Crandall proposed the bill. He says it's not a license for anyone and everyone to carry a gun to school.

"There are several requirements. Number one, they must have a concealed weapons permit, they must have significant training and the training's outlined in the bill, they have to be approved by the school board, they must use non-ricochet ammunition, have to be carried on them at all times or in a gun locker," says Crandall.

The vote passed 17-11 straight down party lines. Democrat Senator Leah Landrum Taylor opposed the bill. She says she'd rather try to find the money to fund armed security guards at rural schools.

"I would rather it be an officer that is trained to have that than to put that kind of liability, responsibility -- every other kind of "-ility" on any employee," says Landrum Taylor.

Both sides of the aisle agree; it's not a perfect, nor a complete, solution.

"It's a practical solution. The real solution has to be multipronged," says Senator Don Shooter of Yuma.

Democrats and republicans alike say an integral component of a complete solution is better mental health resources.

"Our real problem is not guns. When a gun jumps up off a table by itself and starts shooting people, then you'll see me all over gun control, but it's not gun control. People use guns, and the problem is, there are crazy people out there that happen to use this tool to kill people," says Shooter.

Shooter says the House will likely vote on the bill next week.

 

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