Utah Offers Gun Training To Teachers

Fox News

Classroom teachers could stop school shootings by carrying concealed weapons,  say gun-rights advocates who plan to offer the required training Thursday for  200 Utah teachers.

The Utah Shooting Sports Council said it would waive its $50 fee for  concealed-weapons training for the teachers. Instruction featuring plastic guns  is set to begin at noon Thursday inside a conference room at Maverick Center, a  hockey arena in the Salt Lake City suburb of West Valley.

It’s an idea gaining traction in the aftermath of the Connecticut school  shooting. In Ohio, the Buckeye Firearms Association said it was launching a test  program in tactical firearms training for 24 teachers initially.

“Schools are some of the safest places in the world, but I think teachers  understand that something has changed — the sanctity of schools has changed,”  said Clark Aposhian, one of Utah’s leading gun instructors. “Mass shootings may  still be rare, but that doesn’t help you when the monster comes in.”

Gun-rights advocates say teachers can act more quickly than law enforcement  in the critical first few minutes to protect children from the kind of shooting  that left 20 children and six adults dead Dec. 14 at Sandy Hook Elementary  School in Newtown, Conn. In Arizona, Attorney General Tom Horne has proposed  amending state law to allow one educator in each school to carry a gun.

Educators say Utah legislators left them with no choice but to accept some  guns in schools. State law forbids schools, districts or college campuses from  trying to impose their own gun restrictions.

“We’re not suggesting that teachers roam the halls” for an armed intruder,  said Aposhian, chairman of the Utah Shooting Sports Council, the state’s leading  gun lobby. “They should lock down the classroom. But a gun is one more option if  the shooter” breaks into a classroom.

A major emphasis of the safety training is that people facing deadly threats  should announce they have a gun and retreat or take cover before trying to  shoot, he said.

Utah is among few states that let people carry licensed concealed weapons  into public schools without exception, the National Conference of State  Legislatures says in a 2012 compendium of state gun laws.

Utah educators say they would ban guns if they could and have no way of  knowing how many teachers are armed. Gun-rights advocates estimate that 1  percent of Utah teachers or 240 are licensed to carry concealed weapons. It’s  not known how many pack guns at school.

“It’s a terrible idea,” said Carol Lear, a chief lawyer for the Utah Office  of Education, who argues teachers could be overpowered for their guns or misfire  or cause an accidental shooting. “It’s a horrible, terrible, no-good, rotten  idea.”

Read more:  http://www.foxnews.com/us/2012/12/27/200-utah-teachers-to-attend-free-gun-training-program/#ixzz2GFVJDmmC

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