Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Some Teachers in Texas Can Now Pack Heat

A tiny school district in Texas has garnered national attention with its recent decision that teachers and staff will be allowed to carry guns. With Governor Rick Perry now announcing his support for the decision made by the Harold Independent School District, can other school systems in Texas be far behind? It may not be long before mean, old Ms. Smith taps more than a ruler on the chalkboard when you miss that algebra problem. So much for Mr. Hunter using that silly cap gun to start the sprints during gym class!

The weapons aren’t actually intended to be used as a teaching accessory, although the scenarios above are rather amusing to imagine. Instead, the concealed firearms would serve the purpose of deterring and protecting against school shootings. The schools in this district are located more than a half-hour from the nearest law enforcement, so the faculty must rely on themselves in a security crisis.

As the district superintendent, David Thweatt, said, "We have a lock-down situation, we have cameras, but the question we had to answer is, 'What if somebody gets in? What are we going to do? It's just common sense’."

Texas law, while outlawing firearms on school campuses in general, does allow for exceptions when there is “written authorization of the institution." In its new policy, the district has determined that teachers must have a concealed handgun license, be authorized to carry the weapon, have crisis management training, and … this is my favorite part … use ammunition that will bounce around the school hallways as little as possible.

If you have been accused of carrying a firearm in a location not allowed under Texas law, the criminal defense attorneys at Bertolino LLP can help. Please contact us and let’s discuss your situation.

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