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Indiana teacher gun training plan failing amid opposition

A legislative proposal for requiring annual training for teachers who carry guns inside Indiana schools was scuttled amid a disagreement over whether it infringed on gun rights.

Posted: Feb 24, 2020 4:17 PM

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — A legislative proposal for requiring annual training for teachers who carry guns inside Indiana schools was scuttled amid a disagreement over whether it infringed on gun rights.

The state Senate approved the bill this month, but a House committee chairman said Monday that he wouldn’t be taking any action on the proposal ahead of this week’s deadline for advancing it.

The proposal specifies a 40-hour training program for teachers volunteering to be armed. It included 20 hours of scenario-based training and six hours of marksmanship, along with reviews about lawful use of force and personality screening, followed by 16 hours of additional training each year.

Republican Sen. Chris Garten of Charlestown urged support for the proposal because teachers can be armed with permission of their school districts but the state doesn’t have any training requirements. The proposal faced opposition from gun-rights supporters as being too heavy-handed and usurping local control.

House Education Committee Chairman Robert Behning, an Indianapolis Republican, said he was troubled by the bill mandating the training in such detail.

“It just seemed to me that was too prescriptive and we’re putting it into law that this is the way it’s going to be forever,” Behning said.

School safety has gained attention around Indiana following shootings in 2018 at a Noblesville middle school in which a boy wounded a classmate and teacher, and at a Richmond middle school where a boy shot out a door and at officers before killing himself. A handful of school districts now allow some teachers to carry guns in schools.

The training bill, which cleared the Senate on a 42-7 vote, also faced opposition from the gun control group Moms Demand Action as a step toward “normalizing" a high-risk strategy of arming teachers.

A similar training bill failed last year.

Garten, who served in Iraq with the Marines, said he considered himself a strong supporter of the Constitution's Second Amendment and hoped to eventually reach a compromise.

“We tried this last year, too,’” he said. “I think it is an ongoing conversation that needs to continue.”

Behning said he didn’t see much prospect of an agreement being reached by the time this year’s 10-week legislative session ends in mid-March.

“I only have so much time and, frankly, this is a fairly contentious issue,” he said.

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Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 611039

Reported Deaths: 9716
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion844351336
Lake45508685
Allen32891552
Hamilton29546315
St. Joseph27449381
Elkhart24440345
Vanderburgh19513250
Tippecanoe18043140
Johnson15140295
Porter14865169
Hendricks14440248
Madison11009222
Vigo10769181
Clark10731144
Monroe9424113
Delaware9152134
LaPorte9103164
Howard8268144
Kosciusko808983
Warrick676599
Hancock6741104
Bartholomew6523100
Floyd6469110
Wayne6157162
Grant6011116
Dubois556980
Boone554668
Morgan545795
Henry509764
Marshall505384
Cass485264
Dearborn483245
Noble474059
Jackson426747
Shelby419581
Lawrence392980
Clinton374243
Gibson372559
Harrison350945
DeKalb348264
Montgomery346554
Knox335839
Miami323044
Steuben314545
Whitley309726
Wabash304551
Adams302136
Ripley300046
Putnam297850
Huntington293159
Jasper290534
White274143
Daviess271274
Jefferson264738
Decatur248983
Fayette247848
Greene241162
Posey240328
Wells236451
LaGrange229662
Scott225739
Clay223532
Randolph214948
Jennings199336
Sullivan192933
Spencer192422
Washington187523
Fountain184627
Starke175643
Jay168223
Owen166837
Fulton164230
Orange160835
Carroll159115
Rush155818
Perry155229
Vermillion149334
Franklin149033
Tipton133033
Parke13088
Pike118226
Blackford111422
Pulaski97337
Newton91721
Brown88235
Benton86910
Crawford8069
Martin74413
Warren6857
Switzerland6665
Union6287
Ohio4957
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