Saturday, March 9, 2013

South Dakota approves Guns In Classrooms

South Dakota became the first state in the nation to enact a law explicitly authorizing school employees to carry guns on the job, under a measure signed into law on Friday by Gov. Dennis Daugaard. South Dakota guns in classrooms

                                 South Dakota approves Guns In Classrooms

Passage of the law comes amid nationwide debate over arming teachers, after Newtown. The National Rifle Association proposed a plan 'guns for guns'  to arm security officers and school personnel in every school to carry guns. All those measures had stalled until now.

Several other states already have provisions in their laws that make it possible for teachers to possess guns in the classroom. But South Dakota is the only known state with a statute that specifically authorizes teachers to possess a firearm in a K-12 school, according to Lauren Heintz, a research analyst at the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Representative Scott Craig, a freshman Republican in the South Dakota House who sponsored the bill, said he hoped the measure would shift the country’s discourse on school safety.

“Given the national attention to safety in schools, specifically in response to tragedies like in Connecticut, this is huge,” he said. He added that, hopefully, “dominoes will start to fall, people will see it’s reasonable, it’s safer than they think, it’s proactive and it’s preventive.”

The law leaves it up to school districts to decide whether to allow armed teachers. It remains to be seen, however, if many schools will permit guns in classrooms and whether the measure will reverberate nationwide.


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