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Proposed law would give teachers option to carry guns in school

1 month 1 week 4 days ago Wednesday, April 17 2024 Apr 17, 2024 April 17, 2024 10:17 PM April 17, 2024 in News
Source: WBRZ

BATON ROUGE - More than thirty states across the country have put students safety in teachers' hands by arming educators; now, a lawmaker from Denham Springs is pushing for similar action.

Opponents worry stripping schools from their gun free one status will stir more harm than good. 

Rep. Lauren Ventrella, R-Greenwell Springs, says having teachers armed during an active shooting could save lives when police are minutes away. 

"I think that the presence of a gun, the picture of a gun, the visual, it evokes a lot of emotion in people," Rep. Ventrella said.

If passed, school staff would be allowed to carry concealed weapons if they undergo concealed carry training, active shooter and de-escalation courses. Ventrella says the bill will incentivize training. 

This isn't the first time legislators have tried to pass a similar law. Two years ago, a similar measure failed, but didn't include training standards. 

Even with the added regulations and and training, the organization Moms Demand Action Louisiana isn't on board. Amy Sideris volunteers with the group and says putting guns in schools won't make communities safer, especially without proper law-enforcement level training. 

"If more guns in places made us safer, then America, and particularly Louisiana, would be much safer than it already is," Sideris said.

Ventrella argues training sets her bill apart from previous iterations. 

Another concern for Amy Sideris is that parents would have no knowledge their child's teacher was carrying a weapon. 

"I'm only going to trust the teachers that are trained, prepared, and ready to take on this severe responsibility," Ventrella said. "Parents should have no reason to know if the gun is responsibly carried and that teacher is responsibly trained."

"The idea that I send my child to school and there's an adult walking around with a loaded gun that is not a law enforcement officer, and I don't even know about it, that is very concerning to me," Sideris said. 

Though Ventrella argues with proper training, a teacher could be just as effective in an emergency.

The bill is still waiting committee hearings. Ventrella says she's tightening up language about specific training requirements. 

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