Bill allowing guns in schools worries teachers - KOTA Territory News

Bill allowing guns in schools worries teachers

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The Wyoming Legislature will consider a bill that would allow guns in schools and colleges.

House Bill 119 would allow any permit holder older than 21 to carry a concealed weapon onto any school grounds.

Lance Hofland, a social studies and physical education teacher at Sundance High School, says he is a gun owner, but firearms don't belong in schools.

"Been around them all my life. I love the shooting sports, all those things. I think there's a place for them. School is not one of them," said Hofland.

Lawmakers pushing the bill say this would improve school security by letting people defend themselves. Sundance High School principal Mark Broderson says there are other ways to improve security.

"The way the bill is, anybody can carry on school grounds if they have a permit. So I think we'd be better served if they trained resource officers and provided funding for that. Put an officer at the door if that was something they were concerned with," said Broderson.

Broderson and Hofland both worry about how this kind of change would affect students.

"I think you're putting them in a situation they haven't been in before," said Broderson.

"To me, I would think it would create a little bit more fear of coming to school knowing that somebody could possibly or potentially have a weapon in possession," said Hofland.

Hofland says there were times he wondered if a student might have a gun on them, but he's never seen one in school or an incident that would have called for using a firearm.

"We're a small community. We've never had that occur in our buildings, not to say that it can't happen. I don't know that to would prevent an incident from happening," said Hofland.

The bill would need two-thirds of the vote in the State House for introduction.

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