Tennessee Legislature Advances Bill To Arm Teachers

Mar 21, 2018

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A bill to arm some Tennessee teachers is moving along in the state’s legislature.

The legislation would allow a select number of teachers to carry guns at schools across the Volunteer State.

The Tennessean reports it would expand a 2016 law that already allows two rural counties to have armed teachers on school grounds. Supporters say the bill is necessary because less than half of the state’s schools have a school resource officer due to a lack of funding.

An amendment added to the legislation eliminates the need to arm teachers if the campus has a resource officer. The bill would allow one school employee to carry a gun for every 75 students. It also requires that person to have and maintain a state-issued handgun carry permit and complete 40 hours of handgun training.

Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam has concerns about arming teachers and recently announced a $30 million effort to improve school safety. Republican Representative Martin Daniel of Knoxville said the money the governor has proposed still wouldn’t be enough to provide school resource officers for every district in the state.