Bill would allow concealed carry on school grounds

Published: Feb. 13, 2018 at 9:17 PM MST
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State lawmakers are considering a proposal that would allow concealed handguns on school grounds.

The bill is sponsored by two Republicans on the Front Range. Their argument is that rural schools in Colorado can have a delayed response from law enforcement in emergency situations. They believe having someone armed legally would protect the kids and staff.

"We all have to be prepared for the unknown," said Rawlene Bainter, a former teacher in Colorado. "Since changes have taken place and social media, schools aren't the same anymore like they were in 1965."

Some say guns are needed in school because follow tragedies like the one at Columbine High School

"I think that's a huge motivation," said Bainter. "It can happen anywhere anytime and any place."

She said she knows from experiences felt by her family.

"I have a grandson that went to Bailey High School, a few years ago and no one ever thought it could happen there and it did. So everyone needs to be prepared," she said.

Others are more hesitant to the idea.

"I think we need police officers or security guards who are licensed appropriately to be there for everyone's protection. That would be a better solution," said Jeanne Beitscher, another former teacher.

In a statement, Democratic Representative Susan Lontine said, "My constituents feel that more guns do not make us safer as a society and more guns in schools undermine the spirit of trust and the free exchange of ideas that are essential to a successful learning environment."

Bainter thinks those who go through the right steps would be able to stop a tragedy from happening again.

"Good training and most of these sessions where you get your license are very thorough," said Bainter.

The primary sponsors of the bill are Representative Neville and Senator Neville, who are father and son. They believe this is right for Colorado because getting a concealed permit is quite the process.

In Mesa County, someone must have a handgun training certificate, be at least 21 years old, and make it through the background check before getting a permit.

The bill is heading to the House state, veterans, and military affairs committee on February 21st.