Gun groups urge guns in schools in Arizona

Dec. 20, 2012 at 5:42 PM
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PHOENIX, Dec. 20 (UPI) -- Two Arizona gun rights groups called on lawmakers to allow specially trained teachers and administrators to carry guns in public schools.

Gun Owners of Arizona and the Arizona Citizens Defense League Wednesday said lawmakers should consider allowing teachers and administrators to carry guns in schools to protect students against attacks in the wake of the mass shooting at Sandy Hooks Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., Capitol Media Services reported.

"The main issue here is not that a deranged individual gained access to a firearm, as there is very little anyone could do to prevent that," the Arizona Citizens Defense League said in a statement. "It's that anyone who could have stopped his rampage could not gain access to a firearm."

Organization spokesman Charles Heller said more people with guns creates a safer environment.

"You shoot the attacker and stop the attack," he said. "It stops people from getting killed."

Heller and Ken Rineer, president of Gun Owners of Arizona, said they are not seeking to arm every teacher, but would like those with special training to have access to firearms should an emergency arise.

"Lock up an AR-15 [rifle] or something in their principal's office so if something breaks loose they can get the weapon out of the safe and defend children," Rineer said.

Republican state Sen. Rick Murphy of Glendale said lawmakers will consider all proposals.

"We know what we want to stop," said Murphy, who will chair the Senate Judiciary Committee this coming session. "But are the proposals that are being made, whatever they are, actually going to accomplish that goal or are they just going to make us feel good that we did something?"

However, Democratic Sen. Linda Lopez of Tucson said she is not in favor of arming teachers.

"I don't believe that more guns creates a safer school place," she said.

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