Schools consider teachers carrying guns

Local News

FARMER CITY, Ill. (WCIA) — Illinois Carry is an organization rallying support throughout Central Illinois to let teachers carry guns.

Wednesday night, one man gave a presentation to the Farmer City School Board in a push to change a state law.

Rick Noble, a retired Clinton police officer, says, in rural schools, police response times can be delayed because they’re miles away. In emergencies like a school shooting seconds matter. Another concern he has is some rural schools don’t have budgets for a school resource officer on campus. 

Illinois Carry lobbies for new gun laws. Noble is a member and says several rural school districts have contacted them about arming teachers. Right now, the law says only law enforcement personnel can have a gun in a school. 

The resolution calls for the law to be changed to allow each school district to decide whether it wants to let teachers carry guns. 

“If it happens, and you don’t have police response within seconds or a minute, people are going to die and continue to die. I was asked at a school board meeting last night, what happens if we put a gun in a teacher’s hands and they accidentally shoot a student? If an active shooter comes in the school and you don’t have a gun in the teacher’s hand, he’s going to shoot people anyway.” 

School board members will discuss the resolution in the next few weeks and vote next month. If any of the districts pass the resolution, it will be sent to the Illinois Association of School Boards in June. That association will vote on it later this year. 

If it goes through, they’ll then work with state legislators to pass the law. 

Illinois Carry says the qualification for teachers to carry a gun at school would be the same as police, maybe even stricter.

They say law enforcement needs to hit 21 out of 30 targets to qualify. But this group is proposing teachers would have to hit 25 out of 30. The program would include three days of classroom and range training. 

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