State rep. files bill for teachers to carry guns - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

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Proposed bill would allow school staff to bear arms

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SOUTH CAROLINA (WMBF) - A representative from the Florence area has prefiled a bill to allow teachers to carry guns in schools.

The bill was filed by Rep. Phillip Lowe (R - Florence) on Tuesday, and will be presented when the legislators are in session in early 2013.

The wording of the bill states that, if approved, it would amend the law to allow public school employees with concealed weapons permits to "possess a firearm on the premises of his employer."

"Teachers are willing to do this," Rep. Lowe said. "If they want to risk their lives for our kids, we need to give them the ability."

If enacted, gun-carrying instructors would have to conform to certain requirements by keeping the gun on their person, concealing the weapon when not in use, using frangible bullets and providing a written consent to have the gun from the school's principal.

Frangible bullets are intended to disintegrate on impact, decreasing the likelihood of ricochets.

Public school employees must also successfully complete and renew certification as a precision marksman by SLED. Anyone with a history of "violence or unmanaged anger" would not be considered to carry a gun.

This bill would only take effect if it passes a vote of the state representatives and is the approved by the governor.

Even with the precautions in place, the bill doesn't rest easy with parents. Their main concern stems from what happens if the gun falls into the wrong hands.

"A deranged teenager or even a teacher could know where that gun is held and just go irate," said concerned parent Miranda Smith.

What are your thoughts? Do you think teachers should be allowed to carry guns in school? Log on to the WMBF News Facebook Fan page and let us know where you stand on this issue.

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