S.C. Bill Would Allow Teachers To Carry Guns
Updated: Wednesday, December 19 2012, 08:35 PM EST
With flags still flying at half staff for the 26 lost in Connecticut, state representatives in South Carolina say they have a plan.
"On the surface it appears to be something that may work," said York County Rep. Ralph Norman.
Any school employee with a concealed weapons permit, school board and principal permission, ricochet-proof bullets and no history of violence would be able to carry a gun to work if a bill proposed Tuesday in the state house is passed.
"It just seems like something that's been a reaction rather than something that's been in the works," said M.K. Thomason of Spartanburg, who wants to be a teacher one day. "I would rather see an increase in security honestly, than more defense - than teachers bringing guns."
"I think that there ought to be some armed officers walking around the halls," said Benjamin Brandon, who has two stepchildren attending Spartanburg's Houston Elementary School. "One officer just looking on camera throughout the school. I think the government needs to put money towards stuff like that."
"I think with background checks and psych evaluations and annual check-ups and proficiency tests, I don't have any issue with that," said Tim Rybak of Duncan.
To obtain a South Carolina concealed weapons permit you must be at least 21 years of age, pass a background check and show proof of weapons training. No psychological evaluation is required and permits are renewed every four years.
"I think more guns in qualified hands would probably be a good thing," said Rybak.
"In the stores they have guns, so the teachers should also have guns too," said Saray Pineda of Spartanburg.
Susan Todd says for higher education, maybe, but not for young children."It's probably not a great idea, just because having more dangerous things around would probably lead to more accidents."
Currently concealed weapons aren't allowed in polling places, courts, churches, hospitals or public offices statewide. This bill would make schools the exception.
The chair of the House Judiciary Committee says the bill will get a hearing. The next legislative session beings on January 8.
By Ashlea Surles
Follow Ashlea on Twitter @AshleaSurles