Could Tennessee Become the First State to Arm Teachers?

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Mass shootings - particularly in schools - have become quite commonplace in the United States.

After the recent shooting at Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, FL that left 17 dead and 17 injured, lawmakers all over the United States have been scrambling to find a solution for violence in schools.While some people believe stricter gun laws are the first step to making schools safer, others believe that arming teachers is a more effective solution.

Either way, it’s becoming clearer than ever that something needs to be done. After all, if there’s one place where kids should be able to be able to feel safe - it’s school.

As the debate continues, states across the country are beginning to take matters into their own hands. Tennessee recently proposed a bill to arm teachers all over the state and the bill has officially made it passed the first round of legislation.

Essentially, the bill would impact Tennessee concealed carry laws by making it legal for certain school staff members to carry a concealed weapon while on the premises.

So far, the suggestion is to have one armed staff member for every 75 students. The person carrying the gun would be required to undergo 40 hours of gun training (with an extra 16 hours of training each year) and hold a Tennessee concealed carry gun permit.

Superintendents would also have to tell local law enforcement which teacher(s) were armed. The school board would have the right to revoke any person’s gun privileges whenever necessary.

In addition, school employees who were allowed to carry weapons would be required to wear identifiable clothing during school events.

Although this idea may seem strange to some, it isn’t the first time something like this has been suggested. In 2016, Wayne and Pickett counties made it legal for select school staff members to carry guns while at work. However, there has been so much resistance against the law that local authorities “have refused” to train school employees.

Despite passing the House Civil Justice Subcommittee 5-2, there are many people who oppose the bill, including several teachers who believe they’re already given enough responsibility without having to carry the additional stress of being school security.

The bill ensures that employees who refuse to carry a gun will not be penalized or fired because of their choice.

This change to Tennessee concealed carry laws likely spark changes across the United States. Only time will tell if the passing of this bill is a step in the right direction. Opinions on the issue may be very different, but the common goal is the same: improving safety in schools.

Check back on our blog to find updates on this bill as well as information on other legal issues.

Contact Nash Law, PLLC at 615-628-7555.

This article was written by the author on behalf of Nash Law, PLLC.

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