This state is pushing through a law to allow serious protective measures for students and teachers

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Unfortunately, America’s schools are often ground zero for violence that threatens the lives of students and faculty.

In some places, “active shooter drills” are the only things that schools do to try and keep people safe.

But now this state just pushed a law through that will finally change this and allow serious protective measures for students and teachers.

Tennessee passes legislation allowing teachers and staff to carry handguns

Tennessee House Republicans just passed legislation that will allow certain trained teachers and school staff to carry handguns.

The legislation was passed despite protests and pleas from Democrats, students, and gun reform advocates who wanted to see the bill defeated.

As soon as it passed, dozens of protestors stormed the galleries and started chanting, “Blood on your hands!”

The protests prompted House Speaker Cameron Sexton (R-Crossville) to order state troopers to clear the areas, although many of the protestors continued to chant and stomp, causing chaos on the House floor.

Four Republicans joined Democrats in voting against the bill, and three abstained from the vote.

However, the measure still sailed right through the House on a 68-28 vote and will likely become law as Governor Bill Lee can sign it into law or allow it to become law without his signature.

Armed teachers will be required to undergo training, but some opponents say the training isn’t intensive enough.

Once they go through the training, they’ll be allowed to carry handguns in their classrooms and most campus environments without having to tell parents or colleagues they are armed.

A staff member who wishes to carry a concealed handgun must receive the signature of the school district’s director of schools, the school principal, and the chief of the “appropriate” law enforcement agency. 

The legislation also requires teachers and staff to undergo criminal and mental health background checks. 

Republicans rejected a few attempts from Democrats to amend the bill which would have required teachers to keep their handguns locked up except during a school security breach.

Other proposed but rejected amendments included that teachers would be held civilly liable if they used their guns on campus and that they must inform parents when guns are on campus.

Bill passes after a local tragedy

The new legislation comes just over a year since the Covenant School shooting in Nashville left six people dead, including three students.

But Democrats say they don’t think the bill would effectively stop a school shooter, and said they’re worried about unintended consequences, such as a teacher leaving their gun unattended for a student to find.

Democrats were also worried about the possibility of increased force when dealing with in-school discipline issues.

House Democratic Caucus Chair John Ray Clemmons (D-Nashville) said, “This is nothing but a bad disaster and tragedy waiting to happen if we do not ensure personal responsibility. Our children’s lives are at stake.”

However, Republicans say trained staff can improve school security, especially in rural areas where law enforcement officers are spread thin.

They also argued that it provides greater response times in emergencies. 

Although some gun control advocates called the bill “disgraceful,” the state of Tennessee persevered.

Informed American will keep you up-to-date on any developments to this ongoing story.