ROWAN COUNTY, N.C. — A gun range in Rowan County had to turn away teachers because so many wanted to attend its free concealed carry class Saturday.
The Rowan County Wildlife Association hosted the classes and told WSOC they decided to train teachers because of the tragedy at Sandy Hook.
Organizers said they believe “armed good guys” are the solution. Some of the teachers said they were taking the class to help keep their students safe.
“That’s why we are teachers, because we love the children we work with,” interim teacher Jordan Waller said, according to WSOC.
Waller joined dozens of other educators at the free concealed carry class in Salisbury.
She sat next to Susan Smith, a teacher’s assistant, who said she worries about her students who have special needs.
“Our children are not very mobile,” Smith said. “They would have a very hard time getting out of the way.”
Smith and Waller both said they support bills in the state Legislature that would allow teachers to carry weapons.
Senate Bill 146 would allow some employees and volunteers at private schools to carry weapons. Another Senate bill would allow certain teachers to carry firearms at public schools.
“I would be very comfortable having additional opportunities to protect the students, and if it meant carrying a weapon on me I’d do that,” Smith said.
Some groups do not believe arming teachers is the answer. North Carolinians Against Gun Violence told WSOC they have good reason to believe more guns will mean more gun deaths and injuries.
“It has proved out in the workplace and in the home, so it stands to reason that it would be the same in schools,” said Executive Director Gail Neely.