STATEHOUSE (Feb. 19, 2019) — The House of Representatives Monday voted in support of State Rep. Jim Lucas’ (R-Seymour) bill that would offer handgun training to teachers who are allowed by their school boards to carry on school grounds.
Under current law, Indiana schools have the authority to allow specific teachers or administrators to legally carry a firearm on school property. This legislation would allow school districts to apply for a Secured School Safety Grant to train teachers and school staff who carry.
“People have a constitutional right to defend themselves when placed in threatening situations,” Lucas said. “This legislation would ensure our educators are properly trained if ever faced with an active shooter situation. The training could provide added protection for Hoosier teachers and students.”
Lucas said the program would consist of over 40 hours of specialized firearms safety training covering topics like general firearm safety, possible legal and psychological consequences of use of force, and tactical emergency medical instruction.
According to Lucas, it can take emergency response teams more than 10 minutes to arrive on the scene of an active shooter situation. He said this legislation is particularly helpful for rural school districts who could be left vulnerable while waiting for emergency responders.
“Jay School Corporation is a great example of how this legislation could improve school safety,” Lucas said. “Their school board already decided to take advantage of our law allowing school employees to carry firearms on school property because of the potential of a delayed response from law enforcement. This legislation would allow those teachers and employees who carry the ability to get extensive training on responding to an active shooter situation with a firearm in a safe and effective manner.”
This legislation would make public, charter and private schools eligible to apply for firearm training through the Secured School Safety Grant.