Indiana Lawmakers Introduce Bill to Fund Handgun Training for Teachers
Republican elected officials, led by State Representative Jim Lucas, introduced a bill in early January that would establish statewide training standards for teachers who desire to carry handguns in the classroom.
The bill in question, House Bill 1177, would effectively undermine the gun-free zone policies present in most schools nationwide.
“Gun-free zones do not mean it’s a gun-free zone,” declared Lucas at a House Education committee on February 8, 2023.
Lucas, the bill’s author, believes armed teachers could be a deterrent against potential mass shooters.
“The ultimate goal would be to have such a deterrent out there that nobody ever even considers this,” Lucas added.
The bill would grant the state the power to fund firearms training for school staff members. To obtain state funds, teachers would have to abide by the statewide curriculum the bill establishes, which mandates 40 hours of training.
Per Guy Relford, an attorney and firearms instructor, this is the same amount of time that an Indiana law enforcement officer must undergo to demonstrate firearm competency as a part of their job.
“Obviously retention’s important,” Relford highlighted. “Marksmanship and safety, including marksmanship in a dynamic environment.”
Per Indiana State Teachers Association, as of 2022, two to three school districts across the state have permitted staff members to carry firearms at school.
HB 11177 was passed by a vote of 71-24 on February 14 and now awaits a full vote in the Senate, which is overwhelmingly Republican (40-10). The passage of this bill appears to be a lock. Ever since Indiana passed Constitutional Carry in 2022, the state has been on a meteoric pro-gun rise. Its current ranking of 15th place in Guns & Ammo magazine’s best states for gun owners rankings is testament to that.
Passing this legislation will not only boost Indiana’s pro-gun profile but it will also make its students safer.