Pre-filed state bill would allow teachers and faculty to carry guns in school

Pre-filed state bill would allow teachers and faculty to carry guns in school

HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - The debate over whether or not guns should be allowed in South Carolina schools will start all over again in the new year after a bill proposing the change was pre-filed in Columbia earlier this week.

Chairman of the Horry County School Board, Joe Defeo, said he fully supports certain faculty having the right to carry guns in school. However, he said the way this new bill is written, there's simply too much that could go wrong.

"To me it's total chaos. So that one principal can say, 'Oh you can carry guns in school,' and the other one could not. I'm not even sure what the point of this person's thought process is," said Joe Defeo.

The new bill was pre-filed Thursday and says the power to decide whether or not teachers and faculty can carry weapons could be left up to individual principals.

"Proper personnel in school carrying weapons is a good thing under extreme control, obviously," Defeo said.

WMBF reporters spoke with several parents. Some asked, "Who would make sure the teachers were properly trained?" According to the bill, that process would be left to the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division.

"I think SLED would be very qualified as the ones to provide that. But they better provide SLED with more money because they don't provide SLED with enough money as it is," Defeo said.

Robert Battista owns the 707 Gun Shop in Socastee and has a slightly different view.

"Why do you lose your Second Amendment rights just because of your job choice or because you are walking into a particular building? I think that's a much better way to protect our children than to teach them to hide under their desk or to jump out of a school window," said Robert Battista.

Battista said he thinks guns should be allowed in schools without question, as long as the proper requirements have been met, and then some.

"I mean you could ask for additional training, that would be fine. Hey, we want you to take additional training. But just the fact that they have their CWP means that they did take some sort of training," Battista said.

The bill is only in the pre-filed stage and won't be discussed until legislative session in 2017. And if it were to pass, it likely wouldn't go into law until 2018.

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