Tennessee Lawmakers Pass A Bill Enabling Teachers To Carry Guns In School

(NationalUSNews.com) — On Tuesday, April 11, the Tennessee Senate passed Senate Bill 1325, which would allow Tennessee school faculty or staff to carry concealed handguns on school property. The House companion bill, HB 1202, still needs a final vote to determine if it passes. Like the Tennessee Senate, their House has a Republican majority.

The push to allow armed defense in schools has risen in Tennessee since the Covenant School shootings in Nashville, Tennessee, where three children and three adults were killed by the 28-year-old transgender former student Audrey Hale. Hale is believed to have legally purchased guns that were used in the murders. There is still some confusion over the case, as law enforcement has refused to release Hale’s manifesto.

The mother of two of the children who survived the Covenant School mass shootings, Beth Gebhard, believes arming school personnel is a mistake and believes that well-trained police and teachers doing their jobs are why her children are alive. However, supporter of the bill, Republican state Senator Ken Yager, has suggested that for many rural communities, there could be significant delays in any help being on hand by official law enforcement. He added that with a wait of 20 to 30 minutes, there is no telling how much “havoc can be wreaked”.

A group of about 200 protestors showed up to the Senate to protest the bill. Eventually, the state troopers were asked to clear the gallery as many of those protesting were attempting to hinder the proceedings by drowning them out with loud chanting, although the mothers of students at The Covenant School were allowed to remain because they were not being disruptive. While some have characterized the bill as dangerous and irresponsible, others argue that it is necessary for school security. The new rules would not require any school personnel to be armed but would allow those who qualify to choose to do so with requirements of training, permits, permissions and contexts.

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