A bill that would help provide Indiana teachers gun training has passed the state Senate. The Senate voted 32 to 14 to approve House Bill 1253. However, because the Senate added some amendments, it must now go back to the House for a concurrence vote before it can head to the governor.
Proponents believe this bill will help keep school children safer by providing means for teachers to fight back against school shooters. They also say teachers shouldn’t have to give up rights just because they are on campus.
“We’re not just arming teachers,” said Sen. Chris Garten, according to Kokomo Tribune. “We’re allowing law-abiding citizens to practice their Second Amendment rights.”
Teachers can already carry in the Hoosier State, if approved by the school board. This bill, however, formalizes the training required. It also helps provide funding for the necessary training by allowing schools to apply for grants to offset the costs. These grants would be open for all public, private and charter schools in the state.
Opponents claim the bill potentially puts undue stress on teachers who might have to go from teaching to defending in the classroom. They also say it creates a danger to both students and other employees.
“There should never be a gun in a classroom, never,” said Sen. Greg Taylor, according to the Journal Gazette. “This is a bad bill. We are going to be on the wrong side of history.”
Indiana Teachers Gun Training
House Bill 1253 requires teachers undergo 38 hours of specialized training before being allowed to carry a gun on campus. This includes one hour of mental health components covering the effects of going through traumatic event, such as taking a life. It also requires eight hours of annual training each year a teacher plans to carry in the school, as well as a personality screening. This screening is designed to eliminate those with the wrong temperament.
The bill also provides specific guidelines for conducting training drills, and gets very specific to how much and what type of training is required. It even includes empty hand skills and trauma training. In fact, the required training goes way beyond simple gun safety. Teachers who want to carry a gun in a school will become highly trained individuals with a lot of important defensive and life-saving skills.
The bill is expected to pass the concurrence vote in the House, and Gov. Eric Holcomb has signed pro-gun bills in the past.
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