Indiana Passes Bill to Provide Teachers With Firearms Training: 'Necessary'

Legislation introducing state funded firearms training for teachers passed the Indiana House of Representatives on Tuesday, with Republicans arguing armed teachers will help improve safety in schools.

The GOP backed-legislation passed the House largely along party lines, with 71 representatives voting in favor and 24 against.

If the proposal passes into law, Indiana teachers will be entitled to a program of around 40 hours of firearms training, paid for by the state.

Speaking to Fox News, Republican Rep. Jim Lucas, who sponsored the bill, said: "Sadly, it's something that's necessary for the tragic world we live in today."

Teachers being training with guns
School teachers and administrators fire guns during a firearms course at Flatrock Training Center in Commerce City, Colorado on August 10, 2019. A proposal to offer stat-funded firearms training to Indiana teachers has passed the state House. JASON CONNOLLY/AFP/GETTY

However, the proposal has angered prominent Indiana Democrats, who argue it will increase the danger to children.

Democratic Rep. Tonya Pfaff, a math teacher, said: "If we put more guns in schools, the only sure result is that there will be more gun violence in schools.

"School protection officers have a job, to protect the school. They protect. I teach algebra. There is no reason to switch our roles."

Pfaff warned teachers might have their firearms stolen by disruptive students, or be overpowered during a physical confrontation.

She argued: "Teaching is a calling. Teachers want to teach, nurture and inspire students. We don't want to carry guns on our hips and normalize guns in school.

"Let me be clear, I am not anti-gun. I am against teachers carrying guns in their classrooms and on school campuses. I worry about students overpowering their teacher and taking their weapon. I worry about students stealing guns that are in desks. In my classroom, neither my desk nor my filing cabinet has a lock.

"I worry about what happens when I or another teacher breaks up a fight in the hall and during the struggle, someone grabs my weapon. Most of all, I worry about the message we are sending to our youth that they are not safe at school."

Some teachers are already allowed to carry guns in a number of Indiana school districts.

Debate over firearms in schools intensified after 21 people, including 19 children, were murdered at the Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, on May 24, 2022.

The victims were killed by 18-year-old Salvador Ramos using an AR-15, with police taking more than an hour to move in and kill the shooter.

A poll conducted by Redfield & Wilton Strategies on behalf of Newsweek found most Americans think there should be a maximum age requirement for gun ownership. The survey of 1,500 eligible voters was conducted between January 28 and 29.