La bill to allow teachers to carry guns fails in committee

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A Louisiana lawmaker wants to change the law so that teachers can carry guns in the class room.

Representative Ray Garofalo, a Republican from Chalmette introduced his bill on Wednesday to the Administration of Criminal Justice Committee at the State Capitol. 

He filed it in response to recent deadly school shootings. 

But House Bill 271 met fierce opposition and did not move out of that committee. 

In fact one democratic Representative even suggested doing something about what he called an “antiquated 2nd amendment,” an amendment in the U.S Constitution and part of the Bill of Rights that guarantees U.S citizens the right to keep and bear arms. 

“I think we need to do something with this antiquated 2nd amendment, that was when we had muskets,” Representative John Bagneris, a Democrat from New Orleans told Garofalo. 

Garofalo tried to convince the Committee that his bill would reduce the number of mass shootings, and would ultimately protect students, and staff. 

“We’ve proven over and over again how many of our students can be slaughtered like sheep, because they have no protection,” said Garofalo. 

Under the proposed legislation teachers or administrators could choose to be armed in the classroom. Garolfalo said some published reports on his bill was inndcurate and that teachers would not be required to carry a gun, but if they met the proper training, they would have the option to be armed.  

Garofalo compared Gun Free Zone signs, often seen posted outside of schools to welcome mats for mass shooters. He wants to send another message. 

“This bill is designed to say, you might run into armed resistance,” said Garofalo. 

A couple hours of passionate debate followed his presentation. 

“We hire them to teach our children, not shoot for our children,” said Representative Barbara Norton, a Democrat from Shreveport. 

While some lawmakers seemed to be opposed on an ideological level, even becoming emotional at times, others appeared concerned for practical reasons.  

Representative C. Denise Marcel, a Democrat from Baton Rouge was concerned about transparency, asking if anyone in the school would know who was carrying a gun. Garofalo told Marcel that law enforcement would know exactly who was carrying a gun because Louisiana State Police oversees the Conceal Carry Permitting. 

The line of questioning from most legislators on the panel indicated a quick death for the bill. 

“I would like you to reconsider some of the things we’ve discussed here, and perhaps come back with a better bill but right now i cannot support this,” Representative Barbara Carpenter, a Democrat from Baton Rouge told Garofalo. 

Representative Garofalo pointed out to lawmakers that not only would carrying a gun be completely voluntary for teachers or administrators, but those who choose to carry would be required to complete a training course approved by the Peace Officer Standards and Training Council.

That caveat however did little to allay fears and concerns. 

Despite some support, the majority of the committee agreed the bill wasn’t ready to be moved out of forward, and it was voted down. 

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