Tennessee Governor Signs Bill Allowing Teachers to Conceal Carry

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Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee (R) signed a controversial bill on Friday allowing teachers to carry concealed handguns in schools.

Under the bill, SB 1325, a “faculty or staff member” at a school in the state would be allowed to conceal carry a firearm on school grounds if they have a “handgun carry permit,” and receive “written authorization” from the director of schools, the principal, and the chief of a law enforcement agency.

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Faculty and school members will also be required to complete “40 hours of basic training in school policing,” a “minimum of 40 hours of POST commission-approved training” each year, submit their fingerprints, and pass a background check and a psychological evaluation.

“What’s important is that we give districts tools and the option to use a tool that will keep their children safe,” Lee said.

Passage of SB 1325 comes after lawmakers in the Tennessee House of Representatives voted to pass the bill, sending the House into chaos as people sitting in the gallery chanted, “Blood on your hands.”

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The New York Times reported that several people were also seen walking through the House with signs that read, “Kids Deserve More!” and “Have You Lost Your Ever-Loving Minds?”

The bill’s passage comes a year after a shooting at The Covenant School in Nashville left three students and three faculty members dead.

While Lee’s signature was not required, because the bill would have become law after ten days, several school districts indicated that they would wait to see what Lee decided before making a decision.

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The bill will go into effect for the 2024-2025 school year.



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