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200 utah teachers take free firearms training class | fox news

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  • 1. Print Close200 Utah teachers take free firearms training classPublished December 28, 2012 | FoxNews.com ADVERTISEMENTSALT LAKE CITY – Gun-rights advocates in Utah offered six hours of training Thursday in handling concealed weapons for hundredsof Utah teachers in the wake of the massacre in Newtown, Connecticut.The latest effort to arm teachers to confront school assailants was organized by the Utah Shooting Sports Council, which hosted thetraining session to help educators become eligible for concealed firearm permits, FOX 13 News reported.More than 200 teachers flocked to the training class in the Salt Lake City suburb of West Valley City. Raye Ann Blauer, akindergarten teacher, told FOX 13 she is considering using her permit to carry a firearm at school.“[A]fter everything that happened in Connecticut, I want to be aware of how I can help in the classroom and protect my kids andwhatnot. Be aware,” Blauer said. “I think it’s really smart. Especially with everything that’s happened lately.”English teacher Kevin Leatherbarrow holds a license to carry a concealed weapon and doesnt see anything wrong with armingteachers in the aftermath of the deadly Connecticut school shooting."Were sitting ducks," said Leatherbarrow, who works at a Utah charter school. "You dont have a chance in hell. Youre dead -- noifs, ands or buts."In Ohio, a firearms group said it was launching a test program in tactical firearms training for 24 teachers. The Arizona attorneygeneral is proposing a change to state law to allow an educator in each school to carry a gun.The moves come after the National Rifle Association proposed placing an armed officer at each of the nations schools after agunman on Dec. 14 killed 20 children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn.There are already police officers in some of the nations schools. Parents and educators, however, have questioned how safe theNRA proposal would keep kids, whether it would be economically feasible and how it would alter student life.Some educators say it is dangerous to allow guns. Among the dangers are teachers being overpowered for their weapons orstudents getting them and accidentally or purposely shooting classmates."Its a terrible idea," said Carol Lear, a chief lawyer for the Utah Office of Education. "Its a horrible, terrible, no-good, rotten idea."Utah educators say they would ban guns if they could, but legislators left them with no choice. State law forbids schools, districts orcollege campuses from imposing their own gun restrictions.Educators say they have no way of knowing how many teachers are armed. Gun-rights advocates estimate 1 percent of Utahteachers, or 240, are licensed to carry concealed weapons. Its not known how many do so at school.Gun-rights advocates say teachers can act more quickly than law enforcement in the critical first few minutes to protect childrenfrom the kind of deadly shooting that took place in Connecticut."Were not suggesting that teachers roam the halls" for an armed intruder, said Clark Aposhian, chairman of the Utah ShootingSports Council, the states leading gun lobby. "They should lock down the classroom. But a gun is one more option if the shooter"breaks into a classroom, he said.The council said it would waive its $50 fee for the training. Instruction will feature plastic guns and a major emphasis will be for
  • 2. people who are facing deadly threats to announce they have a gun and retreat or take cover before trying to shoot, he said."Mass shootings may still be rare, but that doesnt help you when the monster comes in."At the class, teachers offered their fingerprints for a permit as an instructor in the "psychology of mass violence" kicked off the gunclass."I just bought a bra holster," said Jessica Fiveash, a 32-year-old Utah teacher and wife of a retired Army sergeant who grew upshooting and said she had no hesitation packing a gun at school. "Women cant really carry a gun on their hip."Utah is among few states that let people carry licensed concealed weapons into public schools without exception, the NationalConference of State Legislatures says in a 2012 compendium of state gun laws.Leatherbarrow said he often felt threatened while working at an inner-city school in Buffalo, N.Y., where he got a license to carry apistol. He moved less than a year ago to Utah, where he feels safer.But he said gun violence can break out anywhere. He said he was highly trained in handling guns -- and was taking criticism fromparents who dont appreciate his views on school safety."Im in agreement not everybody should be carrying firearms in school. Theyre not trained. But for some parents to think werecowboys, that frustrates me," he said. "I wish parents would understand."The Associated Press contributed to this report.Click for more on this story from Fox 13 News Print CloseURLhttp://www.foxnews.com/us/2012/12/28/teachers-in-utah-ohio-get-free-gun-training/Home Video Politics U.S. Opinion Entertainment Tech Science Health Travel Lifestyle World Sports WeatherPrivacy TermsThis material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. © 2012 FOX News Network, LLC. All rights reserved. All market data delayed 20 minutes.

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