A new bill was signed into law on Tuesday in Oklahoma will allow teachers to carry guns in school, according to reports.
Parents in the state had varied reactions to the legislation.
“I think it’s dangerous. I don’t think they should be allowed to have guns in the school unless you’re a cop on duty,” parent Sharon Pullen told KFOR.
“Yea [sic] I think it’s great to have at least one person in there with a gun. That way if there is an armed person that comes in there’s at least one person that can save the day,” another parent, Denika Givens, told the news station.
According to Republican Rep. Jeff Coody, only specific individuals selected by schools will be allowed to have weapons on school campuses, and they will need to undergo training and acquire licenses to do so. Coody said that the law would particularly benefit small communities that are without police forces.
“If that worse case situation occurs, there is the potential for an armed response on the part of the school to stop a perpetrator with deadly intent,” he said.
Whether or not teachers in specific schools will be permitted to carry firearms is, according to reports, up to each individual school. The Oklahoma City Public School District Board of Education released a statement regarding their policy on the new law.
“The Oklahoma City Public School District Board of Education recognizes its responsibility for the safety of district students and staff. Current OKCPS board policy prohibits the possession and/or carrying of dangerous weapons by students, employees, or others either in a vehicle or about the person while on district property, at a school-sponsored activity, or on a school bus,” the statement read. “If necessary, OKCPS will make adjustments to ensure continued compliance with applicable laws and the absolute safety of all students and staff.”
Oklahoma is not the first state to enact firearm carry laws for teachers. In 2013, following the Sandy Hook shooting, multiple school districts in Texas began allowing teachers to carry guns on campus.
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