Proposed law could put guns in Kentucky classrooms

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A Kentucky lawmaker wants to make sure a school shooting like Marshall County doesn’t happen again, and his proposed law would give teachers a gun.

“You may lose your life in your attempt to save the lives of those children,” says retired Evansville Police detective and firearms instructor, Guy Minnis. It is a trade he believes many teachers will accept.

Kentucky State Senator Stephen West’s legislation would arm some teachers and administrators.
The bill requires teachers to be “in good standing” and have a permit and proper training. Other stipulations include only one “marshal” per 400 enrolled students and staff.

Advocates in favor of gun control believe better security at the door should be a priority.

“Somebody inside the building is not really going to prevent somebody from carrying a firearm and possibly shooting somebody,” says Sean O’Daniel, whose family has been torn apart by gunfire.

He wants to avoid confrontation altogether. But Minnis says quicker response from someone inside can make a difference, in a worst case scenario.

“After that shot is fired, somebody has to pick up the phone and dial 911 and talk to a dispatcher. In the meantime, shots are continuing to be fired because there’s no one there that can stop the shooter,” Minnis says.

According to the Giffords Law Center, Kentucky is unlike the majority of states in that it has not enacted a child access prevention law which holds gun owners accountable for safe storage of guns. Illinois and Indiana both do.

“Putting more guns into the community will only create more gun fights, and that’s what you’re trying to prevent,” O’Daniel says.

Kentucky Senate Bill 103 is being heard by the education committee.

Minnis is having his own discussion with teachers and administrators on February 17 at First Christian Church in Newburgh at 1 p.m. There is no cost and anyone is welcome.

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(This story was originally published January 29, 2018)

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