In the state of Indiana, teachers can now arm themselves for protection and self-defense while working in schools. House Bill 1177 was officially signed into law by Republican Gov. Eric Holcomb on May 4 after it was passed in the state senate by a 41-8 vote on April 26.
Accuracy in Academia previously reported on the bill this past March when it passed in the state’s House of Representatives. At the time, bill sponsor Rep. Jim Lucas said, “We designed this class that starts with firearms safety, weapon retention, and it goes quite extensively into shooter situations, scenarios range time.”
The newly-signed law allows for optional handgun training for teachers to the tune of 40 hours and it is paid for by the state. It is a change from current state law, which allows school districts to voluntarily arm their teachers yet it did not have a training requirement. The bill, according to local news outlet 21 Alive News, “also allows schools to apply for funding in the event of a school shooting to cover counseling costs for those impacted.”
The local news outlet quoted a school superintendent in Borden-Henryville School Corporation, Johnny Budd, who said that he was intrigued how the bill could help train staff members. Budd said, “nd while I’m not in favor of teachers in the classroom packing a weapon, I do have interest in school personnel like maybe even myself, maybe some custodians, maybe some administrators having access to guns.”
Opponents to the bill claimed that armed teachers or staff members could negatively impact a child’s emotional state. Democrat state senator Fady Quaddoura said, “The argument that a good person with a gun can stop a bad person with a gun in over 99 percent of all mass shootings across the United States did not work.” Quaddora added, “In the instances when we had heroes that were able to stop these shootings, we still had casualties.”
But Quaddora’s claim falls flat on its face because it is impossible to prevent 100% of casualties in violent conflicts, as demonstrated when police officers respond to incidents, and there have been multiple examples of armed, law-abiding citizens defending themselves in the face of a violent threat.
Now, both teachers and parents could sleep comfortably at night knowing that there could be an armed staff member at their school to provide security in case of a violent threat on school property.