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Concealed Handgun Training Presented

In Light Of Recent School Tragedy In Newton, CT

BIG IRON Concealed Handgun License instructor John Price checks the firing line Monday afternoon at the Sheriff’s Training Center as various Teague ISD employees and staff members prepare qualify for the concealed handguns licenses. Big Iron CHL is offering the class for free to central Texas school districts in light of the school tragedy in Newton, Connecticut. All 46 participants in the class were issued their licenses to carry concealed handguns.

In light of the recent school tragedy in Newton, Connecticut, Teague ISD employees, staff members and their spouses had the opportunity to take advantage of an offer from Big Iron Concealed Handgun Training of Waco to receive their Concealed Handgun License on Monday, January 21st at the Sheriff?s Training Center.

Although not sponsored by the school district, Big Iron CHT offered the class for free to school district employees and half-price to their spouses. The program was a big hit with the students. In order to receive their concealed handgun carry license, course graduates must now submit an application and fingerprints to the Department of Public Safety, (which completes a background check) for approval before receiving their permit.

The interest in the class was so overwhelming, a second class which was filling up fast has been scheduled for February 18th at the Sheriff?s Training Center. Arranged by TISD employee Julie Bowers, permission to use the Sheriff?s Training Center for the classroom work and firing range was granted by Sheriff Don Anderson.

Three of the four TISD Principals attended the class and were among those receiving certification. Teague ISD Superintendent Ned Burns said he was not present but understood that the offer from Big Iron was well received by school employees. Burns said he has had his concealed handgun licenses for the past 15 years or so.

On the firing range, participants each shot fifty rounds from distances of 3, 7 and 15 yards. A hit rate of 70 percent was required to pass the firing range portion of the test.

Superintendent Burns said that employees are not allowed to carry concealed handguns on school property but not that the security issue has been discussed by board members in executive session.

Burns released the following statement from the Texas Association of School Boards: ?Under the authority of the federal Gun-Free Schools Act and the Texas Penal Code, school districts can grant written permission for anyone, including certain employees, to carry firearms on campus? In most cases, school districts limit employee authorization to commissioned peace officers, In some districts, however, authorization has been granted to other school officials or even classroom teachers.

While state and federal law gives school districts broad discretion to authorize the possession of firearms and other weapons on school premises, granting such authority brings a host of practical concerns, including safety, liability, and insurance. School districts considering expanding the authority of employees to bring weapons on campus should discuss the decision with their school attorney and insurance provider.?

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