A Utah gun advocacy group is going one step further to arm teachers by offering them a free training class for carrying a concealed weapon.
The gun rights group is planning on waiving the $50 fee to train the teachers on Thursday. The class so far has at least 200 people, reports Time.
The Utah Shooting Sports Council made the announcement that they would waive the fee for Thursday’s class, which will feature instruction using plastic guns.
The class is set to start on Thursday inside a conference room in the Salt Lake City suburb of West Valley. The idea being implemented by the Utah gun advocacy group is one that is gaining steam following the horrific massacre in Newtown, Connecticut, which killed 20 first graders.
Along with the group in Utah, the Buckeye Firearms Association in Ohio is planning on launching a test program offering tactical firearms training to 24 teachers. Clark Aposhian, a leading gun instructor in Utah, stated of the idea:
“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. Mass shootings may still be rare, but that doesn’t help you when the monster comes in.”
ABC News notes that not all teachers are thrilled about the idea, however. Some educators have said that it is dangerous to have guns at school, even if they are in the possession of a teacher. One danger is that these teachers may be overpowered for their weapons, or that students may get a hold of them and either accidentally or on purpose shoot their classmates.
Utah educators have said that they would band guns if it was an option, but that legislators have not left them a choice. A state law prevents schools, districts, and college campuses from imposing their own restrictions on guns.
Advocates for gun rights believe about one percent of teachers in Utah are licensed to carry a concealed weapon, but it is not clear how many of those 240 people carry the weapons with them to school.
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