9:25 P.M (MST)
Monday afternoon the Arizona State Senate approved a controversial bill proposed by Republican Senator Richard Crandall, which would allow for teachers, administrators and other school employees in rural areas to carry a handgun.
This means only schools with less than 600 students that are at least 20 miles and 30 minutes from the nearest police station would apply. The bill also allows for retired police officers across the state who work for schools to carry firearms.
Republican Senator Don Shooter believes the passing of this bill is a step forward for the safety of children at schools in rural areas.
“I would be for having police officers in every school if we could afford it, but since we can’t do that another way to make sure everyone is safe is to allow other people to have these weapons,” he said. Those who are given weapons will have to go through extensive background and safety classes. I think it is a great idea.”
On the other hand, Democrats such as Senator Lynne Pancrazi believe only fully trained police officers should have guns on campuses, and that the state should be pushing for more counselors and resource officers to prevent violence in schools before it takes place.
“Guns in schools don’t belong, and legislatures need to allow us to spend the money to put more resource officers in schools,” she says. We have the money, and we should be spending it on programs that will help make our schools safer.”