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New bill would arm school employees with guns | News

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New bill would arm school employees with guns

Sarasota, Florida - A state lawmaker has re-introduced a bill that would allow certain teachers and school employees to carry guns on campus.

Spurred by shootings that have taken place at schools such as Sandy Hook Elementary in Connecticut, State Rep. Greg Steube said his plan would bridge the gap between the callout and law enforcement response times.

"The individual in Sandy Hook had committed suicide before the police officers even got in the school," said State Rep. Greg Steube.

In addition, he says it would be cheaper than hiring school resource officers, something that is non-existent in elementary schools in Manatee and Sarasota Counties.

"So why not have individuals who have a law enforcement or military background, who already work in the schools, [and] who would be willing to go through this training to carry during their time of employment?" suggested Steube.

The bill requires those who qualify to undergo 40 hours of initial training based on a curriculum by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.

After that, they would undergo, 8 hours of active shooter training per year and four hours of firearms training every year.

"I feel unprotected at school," said Steve Parisian, a Manatee High School teacher.

The concealed weapons permit holder supports any move that would allow teachers to carry guns on campus to protect students.

"I think with adequate training and adequate education- I think that these people could be convinced that this could be a good thing," he said.

As for Steube, he knows convincing some parents and teachers of his plan will be an uphill battle, but insists an armed teacher could make the difference - should an armed gunman walk into a school.

"I think from a state perspective we need to do something to make sure that our children are safe."

The legislature returns to Tallahassee next week where Rep. Steube hopes there will be a vote during the current session.

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