Betsy DeVos, the billionaire Republican donor tapped by President-elect Donald Trump to be the nation's next Education Secretary, said it should be up to states to decide whether guns can be allowed in schools and referred to grizzly bears as a potential threat (video below).
During the Senate confirmation hearing, seen in the video below, Democratic Sen. Chris Murphy of Connecticut, a staunch gun rights supporter who often evokes the Sandy Hook massacre of 2012 that resulted in the deaths of 26 children and teachers, asked DeVos if she thought firearms had any place in or around schools.
"I think that's best left to locales and states to decide," she said, according to NBC News.
When pressed on the question, DeVos referred to a remark by Republican Sen. Mike Enzi of Wyoming, who said a fence had been built to protect children from wildlife.
"I think probably there, I would imagine that there's probably a gun in the school to protect from potential grizzlies," DeVos said.
The comment drew laughs from the room, according to CNN.
But Murphy didn't find DeVos' answers so funny.
"Tonight [Betsy DeVos] would not oppose putting guns in our schools. I was shaken to the core by her answer. So should every American parent,” he later tweeted.
Since January 2013, there have been 201 incidents of guns fired on school grounds, according to Everytown for Gun Safety and Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense, reported ThinkProgress.
When Murphy asked if she would support Trump a ban on gun-free zones in public schools, DeVos said she would.
"I will support what the president-elect does,” DeVos said, according to NBC News. “But senator, if the question is around gun violence and the results of that, please know that I, I -- my heart bleeds and is broken for those families that have lost any individual due to gun violence."