Michigan GOP Reconsidering Guns for Teachers

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LANSING (WILX)-- Should guns be allowed in schools? Some republican lawmakers think so, and have re-introduced a bill that would allow teachers to carry concealed firearms.

The bill is similar to the one Governor Snyder vetoed in December, but a major difference is this bill would allow concealed carry for school staff and employees only. Each school district would have the power to decide if they would allow guns in their schools.

"It keeps coming up because everyone wants schools be be a safer place for our children," said State Senator (R) Rick Jones.

The bill was introduced by republican Greg MacMaster and has re-ignited an emotional debate over whether guns have a place in schools. But for some the timing isn't right.

"I think a national conversation is happening right now that we are hoping will happen in a short period of time. Let's take a look at what is going to happen there before we make changes on the state level," said State Representative (D) Sam Singh.

The proposed bill is called the Michigan School Protection Act. If it became law, teachers, administrators and employees in gun approved districts would be allowed to carry concealed pistols only after undergoing special training.

Jones says while he is open to the idea of allowing guns in schools, he doesn't agree with teachers being the ones handling the weapons.

"If you're going to have an armed presence it should be at the front door. A police officer, or trained administrator, but the school should be locked down except for one entrance," said Jones.

The bill itself is on shaky ground.

"I heard that the House Speaker doesn't even approve of the bill," said Singh.

"I don't believe this particular bill has a lot of legs," said Jones.

Singh says he will think about putting guns in school when those who run the building actually want them.

"For me it's all about local control, and I want to hear from local communities; our principals our teachers our police chiefs and at this time they are not asking for any changes," said Singh.

Both Singh and Jones believe that the state should be trying to focus on helping those with mental illnesses instead of trying to figure out if guns should be allowed in schools.

A spokesperson for the Lansing School District said the legislation would not be welcomed.

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