teachers with guns

Local lawmaker: Teachers have right to carry guns

by y MIKE FAULK, Yakima Herald-Republic  |  published on January 15, 2013

At least two state representatives, Liz Pike. R-Camas, and Brad Klippert, R-Kennewick, plan to introduce legislation to allow teachers to carry concealed weapons on campus.

Among those saying they’d support such a bill is Rep. David Taylor, a Republican from Moxee.

“I believe they have a right to defend themselves and their students,” Taylor told members of the Yakima Herald-Republic editorial board on Friday.

Teachers’ competency and criminal history are already scrutinized prior to their certification, meaning a teacher would have gone through two separate background checks if he or she had a concealed weapons permit, he said.

Fellow 15th District House member Bruce Chandler of Granger, along with 14th District Reps. Norm Johnson of Yakima and Charles Ross of Naches, said they’d like to see more discussion about ways to improve school safety before endorsing such a plan. Ross, however, indicated he was favorable to the idea.

“I trust more than anybody a good citizen with the best intentions who knows how to use a firearm properly,” Ross said. “I really question whether gun-free zones are the best solution.”

The four local lawmakers spoke at the same meeting.

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