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Alabamians mull allowing teachers to carry guns in schools

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BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) -

After the tragedy in Connecticut some states are looking at laws that would allow teachers to carry guns in school. One Alabama lawmaker wants to see that happen here but a teachers' association representative and some parents don't quite agree.

Senator Scott Beason feels it's time to take extra steps to keep schools safe because, he says, we live in a new day of violence.

"If you're at the mercy of a crazy person need to be able to defend yourself," Beason said.

Beason says that protection applies even in a classroom and with lawmakers in six states planning to introduce legislation allowing teachers to have guns in school Beason says it should be discussed by Alabama lawmakers.

"I firmly believe teachers should be able to defend themselves," Beason said. "We've had people in the past propose people with conceal permits to carry firearms at universities and colleges, I think it will be a natural extension."

Supporters of the idea say allowing teachers to be armed could stop or prevent an incident like the heartbreaking tragedy inside Sandy Hook Elementary School.

Vi Parramore the President of the Jefferson County American Federation of Teachers has some concerns.

"I think teachers would be very uncomfortable with that, I do think administrators can have guns centrally located that would be under intense security. To figure out a way to do that there would have to be a whole lot of training," Parramore said.

FOX6 News spoke with Antoine Head and he's not sure how he feels about his child's teacher having a gun. He and others we spoke to at Railroad Park are considering the possible dangers.

"It's not hard to get a permit to carry a concealed weapon [but] have you been properly trained how to handle weapon," Head said.

"I think the risk is far greater than benefit of having a weapon in the classroom…risk of children finding it or being misused," Ashlyn Ayers said.

But Beason wonders whether it would have been a different outcome if someone at Sandy Hook had been armed.

"A number of teachers in Connecticut gave their lives to protect those children. I wish they had something to level the playing field for them," Beason said.

Senator Beason says he does think one of his colleagues will propose the law and if it passes he's certain there would steps taken to make sure the guns are stored safely where students can't get a hold of them.

Some of the states considering the law are Florida, Tennessee, Minnesota, and Oklahoma.

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