Keep Scrolling for continue reading for more stories

Tennessee Governor to Sign Controversial Bill Allowing Teachers to Carry Guns in Schools

As reported by NBC News, Tennessee Governor Bill Lee is poised to sign a new bill permitting school staff members to carry concealed handguns on school grounds. This decision comes in the wake of a tragic shooting at The Covenant School in Nashville that left six people dead, intensifying the debate over gun control and safety in schools.

Governor Lee, a Republican, emphasized the autonomy this bill gives local districts to enhance school safety. “What’s important to me is that we give districts tools and the option to use a tool that will keep their children safe in their schools,” Lee stated during a news conference. The bill, which was passed largely along party lines in the Republican-controlled state House and Senate, mandates a minimum of 40 hours of approved training specific to school policing annually for any staff member wishing to carry a firearm. Additionally, they must obtain written authorization from law enforcement.

While the governor advocates for local decision-making on the matter, the bill has faced staunch opposition from Democrats. State Rep. Bo Mitchell expressed his dismay on the House floor, criticizing the legislature’s response to school shootings: “This is what we’re going to do. This is our reaction to teachers and children being murdered in a school. Our reaction is to throw more guns at it. What’s wrong with us?”

Tennessee joins a growing list of at least 26 states that have laws allowing teachers or other school employees to carry guns on school premises, with various stipulations, as noted by the Giffords Law Center, a gun violence prevention group.

This legislative move marks a significant development in the ongoing national conversation about how best to protect students and staff in the wake of frequent school shootings. The decision reflects a broader, deeply polarized debate on whether increasing the presence of guns in schools can truly make them safer or if it merely introduces new risks.