OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. – The Oklahoma chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, part of Everytown for Gun Safety, released the following response after the Oklahoma Senate Education Committee voted to advance HB 2336, which would enable schools to allow any public school employee with a handgun carry permit to carry a loaded handgun in Oklahoma’s public schools.
“I’m extremely worried that some lawmakers are trying to aggressively increase the number of armed teachers in our schools,” said Christine Jackson, volunteer leader with the Oklahoma chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America. “Our teachers are trained to be educators, not law enforcement, and increasing the number of teachers carrying guns in our schools will not make our kids safer. I hope that our elected leaders will see this for the incredibly risky proposal that it is.”
Current Oklahoma law allows certain educators to be armed if they complete armed security guard or reserve peace officer training. But under this bill, a school employee with a permit would not have to undergo any additional training to carry a loaded handgun in school.
Research indicates that arming teachers will make children less safe. For this reason, school safety experts, teachers and law enforcement officials across the country oppose arming teachers. The National Association of School Resource Officers, the largest organization of school-based law enforcement officers, also opposes arming teachers.
This year, the nation’s two largest teaching unions – the American Federation of Teachers and the National Education Association – joined Everytown in opposition to proposals to arm teachers. The organizations released a report of recommended school safety practices that approach school gun violence from all angles with a focus on keeping guns out of the hands of people with dangerous histories and plans that address the health and safety of students.