A Missouri bill that would have allowed teachers and other school personnel to carry concealed weapons on school grounds has been vetoed by the state’s governor.
“Arming teachers will not make our schools safer,” Gov. Jay Nixon, a Democrat, said in a statement after rejecting the bill. “I cannot condone putting firearms in the hands of educators who should be focused on teaching our kids.”
Under the law, schools would have been allowed to appoint “school protection officers” from the staff who could receive concealed-weapons training and then bring such weapons to school. Currently, 11 other states allow those with concealed carry permits to bring guns to K-12 schools in some capacity.
Teacher carry has flared up as an issue since the 2012 shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut. While gun control advocates have pushed for greater restrictions on firearms, gun rights supporters have hit back by saying the solution is more guns, not fewer. The National Rifle Association, America’s largest gun rights group, officially endorsed concealed carry by teachers as a protection against massacres in the wake of the shooting.
Nixon emphasized that while he opposed letting teachers carry, he still supported having armed, uniformed police officers on school grounds if schools desired them.