School gun safety bill introduced

School gun safety bill introduced

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PHOENIX -

Should teachers or principals be allowed to have a gun at school to protect your kids?

The idea is to have a gun in a secure place that a trained staff member could get to quickly if something were to happen.

Attorney General Tom Horne and Republican Rep. David Stevens from Sierra Vista came up with the legislation.  It allows a teacher or staff member, even someone on the maintenance staff, to go through a training course, then be allowed access to a gun on the campus.

The person would be selected by the principal and the district. The gun would have to be kept in a secure gun locker.

The hope is that the gun's location and the person who has been trained to use it would be kept a secret.

The person who gets to handle the gun would have to go through three days of training.

"Training in marksmanship. When to shoot, when not to shoot, so that there is somebody in each school who is available if a bad guy gets into a school with a gun -- so that somebody is there with a gun to put a stop to it," said Horne.

Teresa Ottensen Binder, a teacher, added, "Some of these schools are located in rural areas. It is going to take 20 to 30 minutes to have a police officer or SWAT team on campus. Who knows the school best? An administrator, somebody who works at that school -- they know the layout."

The people behind this bill say they do not want the person to become a one-man SWAT team chasing someone down.  They envision the person playing more of a defensive role.

Still, the bill has come under fire from Democrats and the powerful Arizona Education Association.

The AEA wants more school resource officers -- so do the people behind the gun program -- but they say funding is the problem.

This bill is still a long way to being passed, and it's not known in Governor Jan Brewer would even sign it. She has vetoed gun legislation in the past.

HB2656: Firearms; schools; safety designee program
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