Rep. Lucas has introduced HB 1253 concerning handgun training for teachers. The heat I’ve seen surrounding the discussion of this legislation seems to go beyond what it actually does. I’m not a supporter because I don’t think we’re going to shoot our way to safety, but the practical impact seems fairly minimal. There’s a state school safety fund that can be used to make grants to various school safety initiatives (e.g. drug dogs, truancy enforcement, bully identification, etc.) This bill would add to permissible uses of that money by allowing grants to be given to teachers to receive handgun training. Among other things, the teacher has to receive approval from their school board to get such a grant. The legislation also sets a mandatory curriculum for a firearm training program to be eligible for grant money.
I think the idea that armed teachers will make schools safer is misguided. That said, I don’t think there is anything problematic about teachers knowing how to use firearms, and this leaves it up to school boards to decide whether they want teachers to request these grants. My only real concern is to what extent these firearm training grants will divert resources from the other uses of the school safety fund. I suspect (but don’t know) that the actual expenditures will be minimal.
The one item in the training curriculum that raised my eyebrow was the requirement that the trainer have NRA certification. On its face, this looks potentially like a bit of pork for the NRA, but it could very well be that any reputable trainer is going to have this certification. I’ve posed the question to someone knowledgeable on these issues and will try to update this when I find out.