DPI Opposes Guns in Schools Bill - KXNet.com - Bismarck/Minot/Williston/Dickinson-KXNEWS,ND

DPI Opposes Guns in Schools Bill

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Bismarck, ND -

The Senate will now decide if guns should be allowed in churches, schools and at public gatherings.

The House passed out numerous bills expanding where concealed weapon permit holders can carry guns.

The Senate Judiciary committee took up numerous bills today.

The debate is similar to what's taking place across the nation regarding gun rights, gun control and safety issues.

Most North Dakota schools can't afford to staff an officer. So Representative Dwight Kiefert proposes allowing other staff, teachers or volunteers who have concealed weapons permits to pack heat to protect a school.

Rep. Dwight Kiefert says he has received numerous emails from parents. "They say they can protect their kids at home but not at school." House Bill 1215 allows school boards to decide if someone inside the school can carry a gun, and who that person should be.

Representative Kiefert says other states are taking up similar action following the Sandy Hook shooting.

"The state of Michigan isn't waiting for the legislature, they are deputizing teachers."

"It makes me nervous," says Troy Schuchard.

Schuchard teaches in Glen Ullin, he's also a concealed weapon permit holder... But mixing the two, he's not too sure about, unless teachers were given law enforcement training.

Superintendent of Public Instruction, Kirsten Baesler, says "school administrators don't want job of managing who has a gun they don't want this."

The Department of Public Instruction took a neutral position on this bill during it's first hearing.

Now the agency opposes the bill.

"Don't be reactive, listen to what schools and parents are saying," says Baesler.

Bill supporters and opponents do agree, the best security option is to hire officers.

However, Kiefert says that could cost the state $75 million for all K-12 schools.

The Senate Judiciary Committee also heard other concealed weapons related bills.

House bill 1283 would allow concealed weapons permit holders to bring their guns in churches with approval.

House Bill 1241 allows concealed guns in places that sell lottery tickets like grocery stores and gas stations.

House Bill 1366 is the broadest proposal, it would allow concealed weapons at public gatherings without permission.

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