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Bill requiring weapons training for school staffers who carry on campus advances

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – Guns on campus at your child’s school. Tuesday, lawmakers discussed tweaking state law to protect children during a school shooting.

It’s already legal for school districts to allow guns on campus, if the school board chooses.

A bill being debated by legislators would require staffers who bring guns on campus to have specialized weapons training.

“There should never be a gun in a classroom,” State Sen. Greg Taylor, a Democrat from Indianapolis said. “Never!” 

Almost right out of the gate, Democrats criticized a bill that’s already made it this far.

“An armed teacher may potentially shoot an unarmed student or first responder in the chaos of a mass shooting,” State Sen. Eddie Melton, a Democrat from Gary said.

One supporter of the bill says that’s just not the case.

“A vote against this bill is a vote for allowing teachers to carry guns in schools without proper training,” State Sen. Chris Garten, a Republican from Charlestown said. 

The current bill would require more than 35 hours of training.

“This bill sets out the framework that we need if a school board decides that they’re going to allow firearms in the building,” State Sen. Travis Holdman, a Republican from Markle said. “Provides the necessary guardrails for training for those individuals who might be selected by the school board to carry in the building.” 

Teachers, staff, and employees would have to take part in a specialized firearms safety, education, and training curriculum.

Democrats said they couldn’t get behind the bill.

“I just… I cannot support this bill,” State Sen. J.D. Ford, a Democrat from Indianapolis explained. “The students in my district, the parents in my district, the teachers in my district, do not support this either.” 

Ultimately, the bill passed.

“We’re allowing law-abiding citizens to be able to practice their second-amendment rights,” Garten explained. 

The bill is now just a couple steps away from Governor Eric Holcomb’s desk.