Created: 01/11/2013 3:01 PM KSTP.com By: Cassie Hart
Texas Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst called Friday for state-funded, specialized firearms training for teachers and administrators to guard against school shootings.
Dewhurst, a Republican, said school districts would nominate who they wanted to carry weapons on campus. The training would be more extensive than what is currently required for a Texas concealed handgun license and include how to react technically and emotionally in an active shooter situation.
"God forbid we should have an active shooter crisis in our schools," Dewhurst said. "Eight hours of instruction and two hours on the range is not sufficient."
Dewhurst's proposal came in the aftermath of last month's mass shooting at an elementary school in Newtown, Conn., where a gunman slaughtered 20 children and six adults before killing himself. Vice President Joe Biden has been meeting with groups this week to develop policy recommendations on how to prevent such tragedies.
The National Rifle Association has called for armed guards in every school in America and rejected any further restrictions on gun purchases or ownership.
Dewhurst offered no other details of his plan on Friday any specifics of what the training should include. The amount of state funding needed would depend on the number of school districts that participate and how many people want the training. School districts would not be required to participate.
Dewhurst has a concealed handgun license and made his comments in a speech to the conservative Texas Public Policy Foundation.
Texas is a state where gun ownership is typically embraced. Concealed handgun license holders are allowed to bring weapons into the state Capitol and don't have to pass through security metal detectors.
Although state law generally bans guns from schools, school districts may grant teachers and staff permission to carry weapons on to campus if they are licensed.
But lawmakers don't pass every gun bill that gets proposed. In 2011, most of the state's lawmakers signed on in support of a bill allowing concealed weapons into college classrooms, but the bill failed without a final vote in the Republican-majority House.
Dewhurst said his plan would not be a mandate for more guns in schools, but would allow school districts to seek the state's help in guarding against a mass shooter.
Texas Gov. Rick Perry has said concealed handgun license holders should be allowed to carry their weapons wherever they want. A Perry spokesman did not immediately return a telephone message seeking comment on Dewhurst's proposal.
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