Teachers Can Carry Guns In Schools Under Indiana Law Already On The Books

By Amir Khan on December 21, 2012 11:39 AM EST

Gun
An Indiana law already makes it easy for teachers to carry a gun in school (Photo: Creative Commons)

Teachers can carry guns in schools, under an Indiana law. The law, which was in effect before Adam Lanza went on a shooting spree at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., could allow teachers to carry guns in schools very easily, according to lawmakers.

An Indiana state law that says teachers can carry guns in schools is an exemption to the gun-free school zone law, and says anyone who has been employed or authorized by a school is authorized to "act as a security guard, perform or participate in a school function, or participate in any other activity authorized by a school," according to New Canaan News.

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Chuck Hibbert , a former Indiana state trooper, told the New Canaan News that he discussed the law with the Department of Education earlier this year, before the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, and concluded that teachers could be authorized to carry guns within schools.

"I guess theoretically, the school district could designate everyone (as security officers) if they wanted to be that crazy," Hibbert said.

Republican state Sen. Jim Tomes said on Thursday that if the law wasn't already on the books, he would have introduced legislature that would have said teachers can carry guns in school.

"I guess it's actually a policy decision," he said. "I believe it really has an immediate effect on these things happening, or at least happening to this degree."

But not everyone thinks saying teachers can carry guns in schools is a good idea.

""I don't think that proliferation of firearms on school property is good for kids," Nate Schnellenberger, president of the Indiana State Teachers Association said.

But while Hibbert is a proponent of saying teachers can carry guns, he said it should not be the first line of defense.

I do respect the fact that schools feel they have to do something," Hibbert said. "Arming teachers to me would be the last step rather than the first step."

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