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December 19, 2012 05:12 PM

Future Legislation May Allow Guns In School

Rapid City, SD

The tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary has school safety on a lot of people's minds.

"Everybody wants, when you talk to them over and over again, a safe and secure learning environment for their students in our school.  So it's always got to be a number one priority," Rapid City School Superintendent Tim Mitchell said.

Incoming state Representative Scott Craig believes that he has the answer: allowing school administrators, teachers and staff to carry guns.

"My wife's a teacher and she and many other teachers, especially this week, are saying, 'We'd like to know that there's some on-site, reliable protection,'" Craig said.

Representative-elect Craig says he's working with the Legislative Research Council and law enforcement officials.

"Those are the folks who are the experts and I'm relying on them for their insight and their guidance as we go about the development of this bill," Craig said.

He hopes to have it ready in a few weeks.  If passed, Craig says school officials would need to undergo numerous tests and training before they would be allowed to carry on school grounds.

But some education officials are leery of letting guns into the classroom.

"I'm not a gun owner.  I've never had a gun.  I don't shoot guns.  I don't like being around guns; I mean that's just who I am," Mitchell said.

Mitchell says he's been in contact with Representative-elect Craig and is planning on meeting with him to discuss the bill after the first of the year.

"I would hope that this debate would continue to take into consideration what did work, what didn't work and is this step really necessary," Mitchell said.

In the meantime, Craig is convinced that future violence is inevitable and that our schools are still vulnerable.

"When there's a sign that says, 'Gun-Free Zone,' to the would-be perp that sign says, 'Multiple unarmed targets,'" Craig said.

Wednesday in Michigan, a bill that would have allowed concealed weapons into schools and other places was vetoed by the state's governor.

  • Politics
  • Legislature
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