Fury Erupts Over Tennessee Republicans' Approval of Teacher Concealed Weapon Law

Fury Erupts Over Tennessee Republicans’ Approval of Teacher Concealed Weapon Law

Republican state senators advanced a bill allowing teachers in Tennessee to carry concealed firearms in the classroom despite strong opposition.

A few weeks have passed since the first anniversary of the Nashville mass shooting at The Covenant School, which claimed the lives of six students and staff.

As they expressed their opposition to the bill from the Senate’s gallery on Tuesday, some 200 proponents of gun control interrupted the proceedings, according to The Tennessean. Eventually, several of them were taken out of the room.

They objected to the plans that would permit teachers and other school employees to carry handguns, as well as the legislation’s prohibition on anyone else carrying a gun on school grounds.

The law stipulates that teachers would not have to reveal if they are carrying a firearm, which caused the gallery to yell “shame on you.”

Tennessee would join more than thirty states that permit teachers or other school employees to carry a firearm if the new regulations take effect—a move that gun control organizations have consistently opposed.

 Linda McFadyen-Ketchum, a volunteer with the Tennessee chapter of Moms Demand Action, stated that “We should be listening to Tennessee law enforcement, teachers, superintendents and more who have spoken out against arming teachers. And, most importantly, we should be listening to Tennesseans, who are worried that their children won’t come home from school every day.”

“We should not be afraid to send our kids to school, but extremist lawmakers are hellbent on expanding the gun lobby’s guns everywhere agenda and putting our kids at risk. Lawmakers should reject this legislation immediately.”

Governor Bill Lee proposed legislation to strengthen background checks for gun purchases after the school shooting, but Everytown contends that he also advocated for the addition of more weapons to schools as a response to the incident.

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“An armed teacher is much more likely to shoot a student bystander or be shot by responding law enforcement than to be an effective solution to an active shooter in a school,” the advocacy group adds in its argument.

Teachers who choose to carry a pistol will need to obtain an upgraded handgun carry permit and undergo yearly law enforcement training.

Democrats in the house expressed their worry about this.

“We’re sending people to 40 hours of training … to learn how to handle a combat situation that law enforcement officers have trouble dealing with,” Sen. Jeff Yarbro, D-Nashville, stated.

Concerns have also been raised by students and educators in training.