Senator Starts Work on Bill Allowing Teachers to Carry Guns in Class
"I sat there and looked at my kids and said I don't want this to happen," said Senator Jeremy Hutchinson recalling the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre.Hutchinson is a dad, and the tragedy in Connecticut had him searching for a way to keep Arkansas kids safe. His solution was beginning to draft a bill that would allow teachers to carry guns in class."If one of their teachers or principals or coach or somebody is willing to go get trained in the police academy, just like every other officer, they would be allowed to act in a duel capacity as a teacher, coach and a resource officer," explained Hutchinson. "That obviously is the most controversial part of the bill."Hutchinson is in the process of forming a task force to develop 'best practice' standards prior to the formal writing of the bill, but already the senator is getting some backup. Rock City Lenders announced on Facebook and Twitter that any educator can take their concealed carry class free of charge. They haven't been able to keep up with the volume of phone calls. "We're actually having groups of teachers from schools register as a group to come," said general manager Mike Willingham. The owners are losing a lot of money on this offer, but Willingham says they are doing it because they are parents."If you're a criminal and you want to do something like that, you're going to go to a gun free place where nobody can shoot you," Willingham explained. Of course, as of right now even with the concealed carry license, teachers can't carry in school."There's some hope on their part that the laws will change," said Willingham.That's a hope driving Senator Hutchinson to action. He can't forget the tragedies, and he won't let others."We won't have another Jonesboro because we simply failed to remain focused," said Hutchinson.KATV asked the senator if there was any concern on his part about a student disarming a teacher and using the gun in school. He responded that most don't worry about that happening with school resource officers which are currently in some schools and these teachers would receive the exact same training.