Tennesee Gov Signs Bill That Paves Way For Arming Teachers Under Conditions

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Frances Floresca Contributor
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Just a day after the end of the Tennessee legislative session, the state’s governor signed a bill Friday that will allow teachers and school staff to carry handguns on public school grounds.

Gov. Bill Lee (R) signed HB 1202/SB 1325, which would enable trained teachers and school staff to carry handguns in the classroom and around school, the bill noted. They would be required to complete 40 hours of training “specific to school policing that has been approved by the peace officer standards and training,” it said. Teachers and staff would also be required to submit their fingerprints, as well as pass a background check and psychological evaluation, the bill also said.

The bill drew attention from parents, teachers and students, especially those connected to the Covenant School, which faced the state’s deadliest school shooting in March 2023, where the perpetrator reportedly killed three children and three adults, according to News Channel 5 Nashville. (RELATED: Six Killed After Female Shooter Opens Fire At Nashville Private School)

While the Firearms Policy Coalition applauded the bill, it also drew protesters who did a “die-in” demonstration at the state Capitol.

“Arm teachers with fully funded schools, not guns,” one sign taken by The Tennessean read.

“Their blood, your hands,” another sign read.

The anti-gun group, Moms Demand Action, criticized Lee for signing the bill arguing there was “vehement opposition” and wanted to vote out politicians who the group believes refuse to “common-sense measures to prevent gun violence.”