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New bill may allow guns on private school campuses in Forsyth County

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FORSYTH COUNTY, N.C. -- A new bill introduced to the North Carolina State House would allow guns on private school campuses in Forsyth County.

House Bill 139 was filed on Tuesday by Representatives Donny Lambeth and Debra Conrad. It breaks down to an act that would allow an executive head at any private school – funded exclusively with private funds – to adopt a school policy allowing certain employees to carry a handgun on their school’s property.

The criteria are simple; the private school employee must be an adult with a valid concealed carry permit and abide by any additional criteria, policies or ruled adopted by the executive head of the school.

Once again, this only applies to Forsyth County.

For administrators like Martha Drake, headmaster of the Salem Baptist Christian School in Winston-Salem, it’s a lot of responsibility.

“Are we sure we’re safer to have the gun, would that play into anything that we would decide?” Drake asked. “We have a pre-school here. I wouldn’t want a gun near a pre-school.”

Yet, Drake believes this bill is all about freedom of choice.

“It is intriguing, once you have heard of a school that, maybe if they had someone with a gun they could have stopped something,” she said. “I like the idea that, if we determined that was good for us, we’d have that option.”

While it’s an administrator’s job to weigh all the options, parents we talked to at the school were distinctly for or against the idea.

“I don’t think there’s any place for a classroom, where there are children around, to have firearms,” said Suzanne Jones. “I don’t think it’s really necessary and I think it’s actually quite dangerous.”

Parent and criminal defense lawyer Michael Archenbronn was on the other side of the fence.

“It wouldn’t make her less safe, that’s for sure,” he said, of his daughter. “I don’t mind whether anybody can lawfully bring a gun anywhere; I don’t mind that as long as [they are] lawfully carrying one.”

If the bill is passed, it would go into effect on Dec. 1.

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