TN Senate Compromises On Arming Teachers

The Tennessee Senate has signed off on a compromise plan to allow teachers with a law enforcement background to carry a gun to class. But several Republican lawmakers objected, calling the proposal “neutered.”

Bills that would have broadly allowed teachers to go armed failed to get support.

What emerged from negotiations with the governor’s office and teachers unions applies only to retired officers. There are roughly a hundred in public schools across the state. Each one would still have to get permission from a superintendent and principal, as well as take additional training courses.

Germantown Republican Brian Kelsey sided with most Democrats to vote no, calling the bill a “middle ground” that satisfies no one.

“If we’re truly concerned about safety in our schools, then we’re going to have to suck it up and pay for it,”he said.

Another Republican objected because the proposal keeps secret who will be carrying a gun, making it difficult to show the law has the intended effect.

The House has already passed the limited proposal to arm teachers. Governor Bill Haslam is expected to sign it.