Maine lawmaker wants to allow guns in schools

In the wake of last month's shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut, a Washington County lawmaker is proposing that Maine teachers and others be allowed to carry guns in school. 

State Sen. David Burns, R-Whiting, has submitted a bill that would allow qualified school district employees to carry concealed weapons on campus.

Burns did not immediately return calls seeking comment Saturday night.

According to a release from Maine Senate Republicans, Burns has been considering the bill since a police officer asked him to consider similar legislation a year and a half ago. He decided to present the bill after the Newtown, Conn., shooting in which 20 first-graders and six staffers were killed.

Burns is a retired Maine State Police trooper and his two sons are troopers, according to his Maine Senate Republicans Web page.

The bill, which has not yet been printed, includes strict guidelines, according to the release. Among those guidelines: Those who want to carry a gun must complete a firearms training course, attain certification, complete an annual recertification and undergo a psychological exam. Both the training course and the psychological exam must be equivalent to those required of law enforcement.

The school board, superintendent and principal would also have to approve anyone who wants to carry a concealed weapon. Those school officials and local law enforcement officers would be the only ones allowed to know who is bringing a gun to school.

"Individuals who are sick enough to shoot a child are unlikely to respect any new or existing firearms law that we pass," Burns said in the news release. "The only way to prevent another Sandy Hook tragedy is to make sure that our schools are not defenseless."

The proposed legislation also would allow school districts to hire retired, formerly full-time police officers with current firearms certification as armed school security.

After it's submitted, the bill will likely go before the Education Committee before being considered by the full Legislature.

ltice@sunjournal.com

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Comments

ANTHONY NAZAR's picture

opposed to a ban on assault weapons

should be a prohibition of them. That and some progesterone might preclude the need to turn schools into fortresses further wasting the taxpayers money Tea Partiers. Indulge your fantasies of being Rambo in some other way - one which does not cost me money.

RONALD RIML's picture

Imagine the 'Havoc' arming the Sisters of the Dripping Blood....

of Gawd??? I remember what they did with rulers, paddles, and swinging their knotted cords and rosaries at us poor students......


FRANK EARLEY's picture

"Mind Boggling"

The Republican Party, has managed to accomplish one thing that forever will define the true Republican mindset for the indefinite future. With their approval rating at an all time, record low, they still keep drilling holes in their sinking boat. It's almost like they have decided that the "Party" has gone so far to the right, there's no turning back. We might as well have some fun with it.
I have no other explanation for the "MInd Boggling" proposals still being made by members of the Republican Party. Guns in school has already been proposed and, on a large scale dismissed as possibly more dangerous to children. I am a gun owner, however I do not feel that the solution to this, or any problem, is putting armed person's at as many strategic locations as possible. Personally, I feel that putting more and more people out there armed, you increase the chance of one of them being that unforeseen "Mental" case out there. Just because you give a person a gun and a mission, doesn't guarantee this person is of sound mind, or that his mind won't snap.
I feel it is time that the Republican party distance themselves as far as possible from the "Fanatical Right Wing" movement. These idiots screaming on TV about gun rights is insulting to true gun owners. In all my years of owning guns I have never felt threatened by any governmental agency to take away my gun.
If Sen. Burns wants to propose a bill that would have a much larger impact on the constituents, he should address the budget problems, or healthcare problems, or even the employment issues in this State. Let the "Ya-Hoo's", scream and holler about gun rights, we need government action in Maine, that will benefit the people......

RONALD RIML's picture

Never have truer words been written.

It's as though the Republican Party has become 'Sesame Street' for Deliverance; and the Folks at Fox are their Messiah.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

"With their approval rating

"With their approval rating at an all time, record low,they still keep drilling holes in their sinking boat."
Frank, I'm astonished at your astonishment of the Republicans refusing to embrace democrat values in order to boost their ratings. They are not democrats; they are republicans and hopefully, will remain so, for if they do become like democrats then this country will surely be doomed. And, as I've told you before I'm not a republican, but I'd rather have any one of my kids attend a gay rally than a rally for the democrat party.

FRANK EARLEY's picture

My point was.....

I'm not suggesting that Republicans become Democrats, just less radical Republicans.....

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

You've just made MY point.

You've just made MY point. You were quick to suggest a change in behavior in repubs but offered no such suggestion (less radical dems) for the party of YOUR choice. That's why we have such gridlock. Neither side is willing to adhere to the demands that one side makes upon the other. Politicians will never unite us as a nation again. Only one thing will do that; a major catastrophic event caused by weather, or another attack on American soil by foreign enemies.

Mark Elliott's picture

Are you implying we should

Are you implying we should not have been radical when the party was founded for such a "radical" purpose??

The party is supposed to be right wing, liberty minded, small government conservative...not moderate, not liberal, not progressive. In todays world, anything right of center is labeled "radical".......guess that makes us radicals! Better than socialist or marxists....or, yes I'm gonna say it.....COMMUNIST!

CLAIRE GAMACHE's picture

What could go wrong?

We've already seen two incidents of trained guards accidentally leaving guns where kids could get ahold of them and it hasn't even been two months since Newtown. Picture a million semi-trained teachers trying to remember faculty meetings, lunch duties, parent conferences, lesson plans and where they put their guns. Then there is the picture of what happens after the crazed shooter kills the teacher in front of her students because she is caught by surprise or her gun is unavailable at this particular location or she is uncomfortable shooting a student in front of her other students. Most of these guys were stopped when trying to reload so making reloading more often is probably as good a deterence as arming teachers. Having trained police might help but these days schools systems can't afford teachers so I doubt they can afford that many police.

Mark Elliott's picture

Claire, do understand what

Claire, do understand what CCW means?? It means CONCEALED CARRY WEAPON......that means the weapon is hidden AND you are carrying it! Any responsible CCW owner knows the best place to keep it is on their person.

Yep, here we go again. We "can't afford" guards to reduce the response time to a few seconds....but, hell, let's spend BILLIONS on shaving about 2 seconds off a 600 second event in the name of child safety!...yeah, that makes more sense! (that was sarcasm for those on the left)

How many children do you have in school Claire?

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

Who says the gun carriers in

Who says the gun carriers in school have to be teachers or administrative personnel?
If oBAMa' kids are good enough to warrant Secret Service protection at their school, then, the children of us lower class citizens should deserve no less than trained and armed law enforcement personnel at their schools.
And, before you tell us that oBAMa' children warrant a higher level of protection because of their "situations", I'll bet the parents of the murdered children in Newtown, CT would have a different opinion of whose kids might warrant a higher level of protection while at school.
Cops in schools would work a lot better than 1000 more unenforceable legislative restrictions on gun ownership. Can't afford the cops in school? Get rid of the Cadillac Athletic programs. Which would you prefer? A kid playing football or an extra level of assurance that he'll come home from school alive and in one piece? At any rate, until or unless reason trumps emotion, who knows where all of this will take us?

Mark Elliott's picture

Why is it the "anti gun"

Why is it the "anti gun" crowd has full faith in police officers to go into a school armed (after a 10 minute wait) but have NO faith in one being stationed there all day?

Why is it they have full faith in a human being with a uniform to protect our children, but have NO faith in a plain clothes human being doing the same?

Why is it, the strongest opponents to guns in school (that I have met so far) have NO young kids in school?

You folks make no sense at all........

RONALD RIML's picture

There ya go, Mark.....

You want to put Armed Guards in schools - but you don't want to pay for them. The height of Intellectual Dishonesty.

98,706 public schools in the U.S. - Gun-owners can foot the bill for that one. A yearly excise tax on every gun we choose to own.

Mark Elliott's picture

Riml..... There ya go

Riml..... There ya go again....putting words in my mouth. My choice is to lift "no gun zones" and ALLOW those that CHOOSE to carry to do so in school. PERIOD!

The series of questions was to merely make the hypocrisy of you folks shine...........and it did!

You folks are funny too! The very same people that want to spend BILLIONS on gun laws and enforcement simply to shave a few seconds off a 10 minute event (or 600 second event) can't see the logic behind using those same billions (or quite possibly less) to help reduce the 10 minute response time that will save so many more lives. Liberal hypocrisy at it's finest!

RONALD RIML's picture

Want Armed Guards in Schools??

Gun Owners should pay for it - yearly tax on guns.

Glenn Aho's picture

How about a law requiring

How about a law requiring those that want to remain unarmed may do so but must pay a yearly tax

RONALD RIML's picture

We already pay the tax for police.

Gun people wish additional services. Let them pay for it.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

That's much better.

That's much better.

David Lingard Jr's picture

guns in school.....

All I have to say about that is wrong wrong wrong. If I knew there were guns in school when i went I would so worried about them I would not be able to concentrate on my studies because of being scared. I am not one who really cares for guns. In my opinion no matter how you put it you are just putting everything and everyone in danger around you. Ok, think about it here you have way to many problems in schools already like bullying, stressed of getting good grades etc. How do you think guns are going to affect children? There are allot of children in schools who's attention is easily detoured from there school work. I for one do not think it is right to have to put children through that. If I was back in school with that stupid law in affect it would make it harder for me to concentrate in school knowing that those things are in my school. Please people what are you thinking about? Think of the other affects that guns would have on others besides the teachers being able to carry guns in schools. I also want to mention that it would be uncomfortable for the other teachers who do not carry guns in school. Not everyone wants to have the responsibility of deciding whether or not someone lives or dies.

Mark Elliott's picture

You sir, did not read the

You sir, did not read the article. There is a reason they call them "concealed" firearms.......because they are HIDDEN from view. The only way the kids would be exposed is if they were feeling up the teacher....and then, we'd have serious questions as to what is going on in the home of that child.

In a case like this, nobody would be "required" to carry in school......just those that are already comfortable with it. If YOU are not comfortable carrying a firearm....then don't! We will let you run and hide for 10 minutes (that's the average 911 response time according to the FBI) But if the math teacher already has a CCW and is WILLING to go through the extra training as police officers do, then he should be able to. On that note, I know for fact that at my children's grade school, there are faculty members that already have just as much, if not more training than most police officers.

Just removing the "no gun zone" sticker from the front doors would solve half the problem by itself.

RONALD RIML's picture

They may be 'Hidden from View' - but not from 'Mind'

Q.E.D

Mark Elliott's picture

Don't tell them!.....DUH!

Don't tell them!.....DUH!

Mark Wrenn's picture

What could possibly go wrong?

What could possibly go wrong? Yesterday, at gun appreciation day gun shows, responsible law abiding gun owners turned out to show their support, and only five people were shot. So, let's throw hundreds, maybe thousands of elementary school children into the mix and see what happens! http://goo.gl/DYrs8

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

Target rich envirronment and

Target rich envirronment and only five hits? My word, what's it all coming to?

Mark Elliott's picture

MILLIONS of attendees and

MILLIONS of attendees and only 5 shot.....not too bad! Oh, one of those accidents was by an on duty fully trained police officer. You know, those guys you want our children to wait patiently for. 10 minutes is a long time when your being shot at......

RONALD RIML's picture

Millions of attendees at School every day.

And no-one shot until some freakin' idiot brings a gun into the building.

Mark Elliott's picture

Thank you Riml!!! Are you

Thank you Riml!!! Are you finally getting it??? "no-one shot until some freakin' idiot brings a gun into the building."...you finally recognize, in a public forum no less, that the guns don't walk in and do the shooting!? It takes an "idiot" to pull the trigger!?

RONALD RIML's picture

And see how many disagreed with me.....

;)

GARY SAVARD's picture

People intent on killing as

People intent on killing as many people as possible before going out or being taken out tend to choose targets that they know will be soft, like well advertised gun free zones. If they were in doubt about the softness of the target, that in itself would deter some, but certainly if my grandchildren were locked down in a classroom whith a shooter or two roaming the halls, I would feel better if their teacher were armed and capable of meaningful defensive action than not.

FRANK EARLEY's picture

Here's a "What If"....

What if that teacher was an undiagnosed schizophrenic? They are more common than one might think.....

Mark Elliott's picture

"What ifs" are only limited

"What ifs" are only limited by your imagination Frank...how about we focus on the real "what if"?...... What if a crazy man goes into one of our schools and shoots it up?? Who's going to stop him? ...........national average 911 response time is 10 minutes......tick, tock, tick, tock, tick, tock................................time's up! Who pays when "times up"??

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

What if it turned out that

What if it turned out that Brad Pitt and Jennifer Anniston were never really married?

Mark Elliott's picture

There is more to come too!

There is more to come too! Most schools already have people fully trained...they just dont know it yet!

RONALD RIML's picture

Now who is going to indemnify the gun carrier????

Senator Burns???

Or we the Citizens???

You can take this 'Bill' and shove it!!!!!

Mark Elliott's picture

Many responsible CCW carriers

Many responsible CCW carriers already have insurance for that. .....YES, there are policies available for it!

RONALD RIML's picture

Once the School District 'Hires' - 'We' - the Taxpayers

are on the hook for any liability.

Personal insurance will not apply.

Mark Elliott's picture

No different than when we

No different than when we wait 10 minutes for tax paid law enforcement........knowingly creating an intentional unsafe zone with "no gun zones" is a liability by itself.

RONALD RIML's picture

Do "No Gun Zone" signs carry 'Force of Law?'

?????

Mark Elliott's picture

In schools, YES! Those signs

In schools, YES! Those signs are the result of law!

RONALD RIML's picture

Thank you.....

Those signs are 'Post' my LEO days.

RONALD RIML's picture

Now who's the Dumb F*ck who Disagrees with

a Question rather than answer it?

That really takes brains.......

RONALD RIML's picture

How about some Guidelines on what Agree/Disagree

really mean rather than a Personality Contest

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

There is no U in TEAM either.

There is no U in TEAM either.

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