Lawmaker proposes firearms training for students

Reported by: Henry Ramos
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Updated: 2/20/2013 11:54 pm

We've heard a lot of debate about allowing teachers to carry guns in the classroom and the move by some school districts to hire armed marshals for their campuses. However, a Texas lawmaker said he has a common-sense approach to firearm safety.

State Representative James White of Tyler is targeting firearm safety for teens. He's filed a bill that would give school districts the option to offer gun training courses to high school students.

The class would be taught by a certified concealed handgun license instructor, or a peace officer on how to safely use, maintain, and clean firearms.

White also wants the course to focus on the Second Amendment.

FOX 34 wanted to know what parents, who were waiting to pick up their student, thought about the idea.

LISD Parent Juanita Martinez said she didn't like the idea. "As bad as it is we don't need no more encouragement of that."

LISD Parent Rose Villagomez said, "That's not even an idea that I have when it comes to school. School is not an area for weapons."

Safety is only going to make them feel indispensable and make them go out and say oh well I have been taught about guns I can use them properly, and bam there we go again," Beulah Isaac LISD Parent said.

However, Donna Kitchens thinks otherwise.

"I'm for it," she said. "I believe we have the right to defend ourselves. If you know safely how to operate the weapon you are going to use...all the better."

Mark Brown who works with local 4-H chapters said students ages nine-18 involved in the 4-H program can participate in shooting competitions.

"We think that is a very good idea because when you teach those children on how to handle a firearm and respect it as a tool then it takes the curiosity away."

Dax Gonzalez spokesman with the Texas Association of School Boards told the Austin American-Statesman quote: "There are just a lot of things to consider that this bill doesn't really address."

Gonzalez said there could be additional insurance costs to school districts.

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