Tennessee Politicians Join Effort to Let Teachers Bring Firearms to School

Teachers in Tennessee public schools may be allowed to carry concealed guns in the classroom. This comes after a school shooting in the state’s capital city sparked a heated discussion on how to prevent such violence.

The legislation was approved by the Republican-led Legislature in Tennessee on Tuesday. This comes shortly after Republican governors in Iowa and Nebraska signed similar laws to increase the presence of armed personnel in schools.

Tennessee lawmakers passed additional gun-rights measures on Wednesday. These measures include allowing retired law officers to carry guns in schools and prohibiting local ordinances that remove guns from individuals deemed to be a danger to themselves or others.

Both bills will now go to Republican Gov. Bill Lee, who tried but failed last year to pass a law that would allow some form of extreme risk protection orders across the entire state.

The recent legislative action brings attention to the differing opinions across the country regarding public safety and gun policies. This comes as Democratic-led legislatures in Colorado, Maine, and Vermont have all made moves to implement stricter firearm regulations.

Legislatures in approximately 20 states have already approved measures this year to either increase gun rights or limit access to firearms. There are many more proposals that are waiting to be considered. The measures follow a pattern from last year, where over half of the states passed laws about firearms. Democrats generally supported more restrictions, while Republicans supported more freedoms for gun owners.

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Guns in Tennessee

About a year ago, someone started shooting at a Christian elementary school in Nashville. They killed three children and three adults before the police killed them.

Tensions were intense as lawmakers argued about what to do. The situation reached its highest point when the Republican majority removed two Black Democratic House members from their positions last year. This happened because the two members had participated in a protest in support of gun control. Both lawmakers were later allowed to return to their positions.

There were also protests on Tuesday after lawmakers approved the most recent school gun legislation. There was already a law in Tennessee that allowed certain private school teachers and staff members to carry guns.

The new measure would extend this to public schools, but with certain conditions. Before teachers and staff can carry a handgun, they need to get a permit. This involves passing a background check, getting mental health clearance, and completing 40 hours of training in basic school policing. In addition, they would need written permission from the school’s principal and local law enforcement. They would not be allowed to bring guns into school events held at stadiums, gymnasiums, or auditoriums.

This year in Tennessee, several bills supporting gun rights were passed, and this legislation was one of them. Lee signed a bill on Monday that makes it easier for private schools, including preschools, to have guns. Lee signed a law on Tuesday that says schools must teach kids about gun safety in a way that is appropriate for their age. He signed a law on Tuesday that stops banks from making customers use special codes when buying guns.

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