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Tennessee Will Allow US Teachers and School Staff to Carry Handguns Following Escalating School Attacks Across the Country

Lawmakers in Tennessee have approved a bill which will give teachers and school staff access to carry concealed handguns on school grounds, in a quest to enhance school safety. The measure was approved on Tuesday, April 23, by a 68 against 28 vote in the Tennessee House, a year after a terrorist attack at a Nashville school which killed three children and three adults. 

The staff will be required to undergo 40 hours of specialized training annually.

Republican Rep. Ryan Williams, an advocate for the bill, said, “This kind of legislation is not new to Tennessee. In fact, in 2016, this body gave K-12 schools in distressed counties the ability to carry guns, teachers and faculty to be able to carry concealed weapons in their schools, and have done so for the last seven years without any incident.”

However, critics have condemned the move, saying that “inappropriately responds to school shootings by introducing more guns into the environment.”

Republican Rep. Justin Jamal Pearson, called it pathetic saying, “If we are going to have more firearms in our schools, certainly the people who are like my mother, who’s been a teacher for 22 years, would know if someone who is teaching next to them has a firearm in their classroom. This is increasing the dangerousness level of our schools. It is hurting and risking the lives of our children, and each and every one of us will be responsible and accountable for the gun violence that will happen due to this pathetic excuse for dealing with the gun violence epidemic.”

26 other states in the US allow school employees to be armed.

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