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VOL. 42 | NO. 8 | Friday, February 23, 2018

Bill to let more teachers have guns clears panel

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A bill that would expand the number of teachers allowed to carry guns in Tennessee schools has cleared its first legislative hurdle.

A House subcommittee voted Wednesday for legislation that would let all school districts decide whether to let teachers undergo training by certified private instructors to carry guns in schools, with one armed teacher per 75 students.

Republican subcommittee chairman Rep. Mike Carter of Ooltewah said he would prefer hiring more school resource officers and questioned why there wasn't more funding for them. He said it would cost about $40 million to put a school resource officer in every school.

Tennessee Sheriffs Association Executive Director Terry Ashe said there are 910 school resource officers statewide, representing only 40 percent coverage, with most uncovered schools being elementary schools.

Republican Gov. Bill Haslam's administration voiced opposition to the bill.