Armed teacher bill on top of State House’s legislative calendar Tuesday

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Alabama lawmakers in the State House will debate whether teachers can carry guns on campus when they return to session on Tuesday.

Sponsored by Guntersville-Republican State Rep. Will AinsworthHB435 would allow some public school teachers and administrators to undergo firearms training and arm themselves during school hours, in order to help prevent school shoots like the one that occurred last month at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla.

“Our children are sitting ducks in gun-free schools. As the parent of three public school students, I believe we must act now in order to prevent another tragedy,” Ainsworth posted on Facebook ahead of introducing the bill.

House Democratic Leader Anthony Daniels said he’s disappointed the chamber is prioritizing the bill.

“I am deeply disappointed the ‘Weaponizing Classrooms’ proposal is at the top of our calendar today,” said Daniels. “This proposal is a bad idea and would create dangerous policy. Putting loaded guns in our classrooms, and teachers even further on the front lines, will only pose greater danger to them and our students.

The bill narrowly passed a committee vote last week before advancing to the full House, which Daniels considers a reason to have reservations about taking it up further.

“As was clear during last week’s discussion in committee, this legislation raises far more concerns and questions than it answers. Members from both sides of the aisle and even Governor Ivey, a former schoolteacher herself, obviously have deep concerns and reservations,” Daniels added. “For the sake of our schoolchildren and teachers, we must do better to address these issues with proven proposals rather than knee jerk ideas like this.”

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