Tenn. senator renews call for allowing teachers to have guns - WKRN News 2

Tenn. senator renews call for allowing teachers to have guns

Posted:
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -

A Tennessee state lawmaker is renewing his bill to allow teachers to carry their weapons in classrooms.
 
Senator Stacey Campfield has had similar bills in the past, but he feels there now has been a "wake up call" with the Connecticut shootings.

The Knoxville Republican reiterated his long held idea to Nashville's News 2 Tuesday that "gun free zones are just target-rich environments."

His measure, which has failed in previous attempts to move it through the Tennessee General Assembly, is still being worked on, but Senator Campfield plans for it to allow teachers and staff with handgun carry permits, with proper training, to bring their weapons to school.

The senator who once seemed to be a lone voice for such bills is not alone anymore, especially at places where firearms are sold such as Guns and Leather in Hendersonville.

On Tuesday it was difficult to find a parking spot outside the store.

Once inside, you'll find record sales, and in the basement a firing range where some have never shot until gun until now.

"First time firing a gun," beamed Janice Ferrett of nearby Portland as she aimed at a firing range target.

She planned to be here as a way to celebrate five years of being free from breast cancer, but then the Connecticut school shootings happened on Friday.

"I want to learn how to shoot a gun, learn how to protect myself, my children [and] my five grandchildren," she told Nashville's News 2.

Janice said she supports the proposed Tennessee bill allowing teachers and staff with permits and training to carry their weapons in school, adding that her daughter works as a teacher's aide.

"I don't think any other way this could have played out different unless these teachers had have been armed," she said in a halting voice. "They did everything for these kids and they could not help them."

Her instructor at the firing range said "we got to have this discussion."

Chris Smith is retired from the Air Force Special Ops.     

"I would love to be involved any way I can in the training of teachers and faculty members," he said.

He and the owner of Guns and Leather are thinking of offering extensive firearms training free to any educator.

"We would definitely do that for educators, we are looking at doing a free one or a greatly discounted one," said owner Dennis Williams.

He hopes the bill allowing permitted and trained teachers to carry guns in schools gets a serious look in Tennessee or anywhere.

"That teacher who was a hero was trying to protect kids, but she had no chance," added the gun store owner.

Similar bills from state Senator Stacey Campfield have failed in past years, and he'll likely face opposition from leadership in his own party, like Republican Governor Bill Haslam.

Opposition is also likely to come from most school districts, teacher groups and various business interests.  

But people such as Ferrett hope Tennessee lawmakers will take another look

"I would want my daughter to have a handgun in school. I would want the teachers and the principal to have one, too," she said.

East Tennessee Senator Frank Nicely is also proposing a similar bill.

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Mom bites off dog's ear to save daughter during attack

    Mom bites off dog's ear to save daughter during attack

    Tuesday, April 22 2014 2:49 PM EDT2014-04-22 18:49:19 GMT
    Image from CNN/KHOU-TVImage from CNN/KHOU-TV
    In a backyard in Alvin, swings a very lucky girl. Her name is Mackenzi Plass, or Kenzi for short, and she survived a dog attack and has undergone several surgeries."She'll be two and a half in May," said her very proud mother Chelsi Camp. "She's doing great. You wouldn't know it if you couldn't see."Mackenzi has scars on her face after the ordeal just weeks ago that put her mother's animal instincts to the test."You do whatever you can," said Camp. "I don't have physical strength at my side."...More >>
    In a backyard in Alvin, swings a very lucky girl. Her name is Mackenzi Plass, or Kenzi for short, and she survived a dog attack and has undergone several surgeries."She'll be two and a half in May," said her very proud mother Chelsi Camp. "She's doing great. You wouldn't know it if you couldn't see."Mackenzi has scars on her face after the ordeal just weeks ago that put her mother's animal instincts to the test."You do whatever you can," said Camp. "I don't have physical strength at my side."...More >>
  • Baby found alive in trash can, SC woman charged

    Baby found alive in trash can, SC woman charged

    Tuesday, April 22 2014 7:35 AM EDT2014-04-22 11:35:31 GMT
    A Greenville woman is accused of attempted murder and willful neglect after police say she dumped her newborn son in a trash can moments after giving birth. The child is alive and stable at an area hospital. Reports show 28 year old Sharon Ferguson gave birth inside a vacant home on Chaney Street in the Nicholtown community. They say after, she wrapped the boy in a plastic bag and a blanket and placed him in the trash can near the back of the house. Police say she then walked to a Laurens Ro...More >>
    A Greenville woman is accused of attempted murder and willful neglect after police say she dumped her newborn son in a trash can moments after giving birth. The child is alive and stable at an area hospital. Reports show 28 year old Sharon Ferguson gave birth inside a vacant home on Chaney Street in the Nicholtown community. They say after, she wrapped the boy in a plastic bag and a blanket and placed him in the trash can near the back of the house. Police say she then walked to a Laurens Ro...More >>
  • $90K, 80lbs of pot found in Nashville man's home, storage unit

    $90K, 80lbs of pot found in Nashville man's home, storage unit

    Danny Hopkins, 54, was arrested after police found thousands of dollars in cash and marijuana stashed inside his car, east Nashville home, and west Nashville storage unit.

    More >>

    Danny Hopkins, 54, was arrested after police found thousands of dollars in cash and marijuana stashed inside his car, east Nashville home, and west Nashville storage unit.

    More >>
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and WKRN (Young Broadcasting station). All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.