The state of Colorado is allowing districts to give teachers the ability to carry guns in school without needing to disclose any information to the state itself. This move, the latest attempt to improve K-12 safety, is not entirely unprecedented; Colorado joins at least 9 other states which are allowing teachers to carry firearms if their district allows it.
Those skeptical of this approach have cited a lack of formal, mandatory training for those who will be carrying inside the state’s schools. In fact, the Colorado law allows school boards to designate teachers and staff as security officers (able to carry weapons) without any training. In many areas, the training policy is being created based on requirements from a school’s liability insurance company, not by law enforcement professionals or the state. These training requirements currently include 4 hours of classroom instruction, 12 hours of shooting range training, a total of 24 hours of firearm training over the past four years, 6 hours of active shooter training, and a test that must be passed.
Supporters of this approach to improve K-12 safety take a different view and prefer no statewide training mandates, instead favoring a local solution which will leave training up to each district, as it is now.
Colorado won’t be the last state that has to decide whether or not to arm teachers, and the training criteria that must be met. As questions surround the effectiveness of allowing teachers to carry guns and the training process around this proposal, one thing that does not seem to be up for debate is the need to train anyone who is going to be carrying a weapon within a school.