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Senate Bill Makes It Legal to Carry Guns In Schools

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. -

Newly passed legislation by the Republican controlled legislature will make it OK for many people to carry a concealed weapon in schools. The bill is headed for the governor’s desk.

The superintendent of Kent Intermediate School District says by some sort of terrible irony, the reports of the murdered elementary students came pouring in right after the Michigan legislature passed Senate Bill 59 Friday.

Superintendents from across Kent County are trying to let the governor the legislation isn’t right for their school districts.

Grand Rapids Public Schools Spokesperson John Helmholdt says parents generally don’t want more people with guns in schools. Helmholdt says right now it isn’t legal for the average person to walk into a school with a gun and the new legislation would change that.

The bill allows adults who meet certain requirements to carry concealed weapons if they receive an additional six hours of training.

In fact, Helmholdt says the tragedy in Connecticut has caused the school to go through their safety procedures once again as a refresher. “Your hearts go out to them, it does make you reflect and say what more can we do?”, says Helmholdt. “And we`ll always be doing that. It`s a constant state of reflection regardless of this incident.”

Helmholdt says following the shooting Friday, the school began preparing a letter to explain to parents how they train to handle the unthinkable should it happen as it did in Connecticut. “We`re fortunate because we`re one of the most well-trained, well-organized districts when it comes to school safety,” says Helmholdt.

Fox 17 received a news release Monday afternoon from the superintendent of Kent ISD, stating how their superintendents in the Kent County area feel about the newly passed legislation. Superintendent Kevin Konarska says lawmakers shouldn’t be allowing more people to carry in concealed weapons.

“All superintendents are grieving just like all the families in Connecticut over what happened, the tragedy that happened in Newtown,” says Konarska.  “Shortly after (the shootings in Connecticut) the legislature sent legislation to the governor that would allow more guns to be allowed in our schools.”

Konarska says all 20 superintendents from the public schools in Kent County signed the letter, asking Snyder to veto the legislation.

In part they were also addressing the argument that teachers and administrators could stop an assailant better if they carried a weapon.

The letter reads, “Nor is it likely an armed teacher or principal would deter a planned assault any more than the armed officers who responded to the Columbine, CO incident in 1999. Schools are made safe through careful crisis planning, secure buildings and safety procedures that are regularly practiced.”

“They`re very concerned, that more guns being brought into school. This isn`t the answer to make our schools a safer place, a more secure place,” says Konarska.

We contacted the governor’s office for comment on whether or not he is in favor of signing the bill. His office responded saying the governor hasn’t received the bill yet.

Snyder’s office also released a brief statement saying, “As Gov. Snyder indicated earlier, this bill was already going to be undergoing careful review, analysis and consideration, even before Friday’s tragic event. He also said these heartbreaking situations like Connecticut always must and should give deep pause, but that we can’t jump to conclusions either. He’s going to be looking at holistically and also asked the team to review from a multitude of angles, including mental health, school safety and security polices, etc.”

VIEW & ADD COMMENTS

10 Comments to “Senate Bill Makes It Legal to Carry Guns In Schools”

    C. White said:
    December 17, 2012 at 7:46 PM

    AS A RETIRED TEACHER, I FIND SENATE BILL 59 REPREHENSIBLE! HOW COULD ANYONE WITH ANY SENSE OF DECENCY THINK THAT ALLOWING CONCEALED WEAPONS IN A SCHOOL SITUATION WOULD CREATE A POSITIVE ATMOSPHERE FOR EVERYONE IN THE SCHOOL? I FIND THIS INCREDIIBLY DISTURBING.

    Gonk said:
    December 17, 2012 at 8:54 PM

    As a parent, I find it encouraging that there may be law abiding, responsible citizens present in the schools with the means to defend or deter crimes against the innocent, defenceless lives of the children and faculty. I find it reprehensible that our educators have bought into, and propogate, the lies that guns kill and the disturbed human being does not. As educators, do your homework and study the statistical, not emotional or political, data in regards to the presence of a significant means of defence (firearm) and crime. Please note that a lawbreaker will always have access to illegal guns and will always have the intent to use it in a harmful manner. What sense is there in restricting or eliminating legal use to law abiding citizens who are given the Constitutional right to have them? Why don't we go after taking away motor vehicles? More are killed by irresponsible vehicle use and there use is not protected in the Constitution of the United States of America. Please do your homework and use logic. Ignorance kills too.

      ken said:
      December 17, 2012 at 10:38 PM

      I AGREE!!!!

    Damon said:
    December 17, 2012 at 10:15 PM

    Typical union teacher mentality. If someone in the school had been armed, the gunman may have been stopped before causing all the carnage he did. I promise that I would have been taking him out long before he got as far as he did. I agree with Gonk in that lawbreakers will always have access to guns. Do you really think that lawbreakers will go get a gun legally? No, but they will get them while the law-abiding citizen will find himself defenseless.

      Ken said:
      December 17, 2012 at 10:50 PM

      I agree with you and Gonk, for some Dumb idea everyone thinks all of us law abiding citizens that have a CPL (CCW) are going to march all over there school property and flash our guns around. I guess that is what you get when you uneducated people, if they really under stood the new bill SB 59 they would know that not everyone would be able to carry on school properties, to carry on school properties under SB59 you have to take a expand CPL course. So come on People lets all get educated on the laws.

    Ken said:
    December 17, 2012 at 10:52 PM

    for some Dumb idea everyone thinks all of us law abiding citizens that have a CPL (CCW) are going to march all over there school property and flash our guns around. I guess that is what you get when you uneducated people, if they really under stood the new bill SB 59 they would know that not everyone would be able to carry on school properties, to carry on school properties under SB59 you have to take a expand CPL course. So come on People lets all get educated on the laws.

    Stand Up said:
    December 18, 2012 at 6:43 AM

    Gov Snyder sure is signing a lot of bills after the election, Beside the kid was not a lawbreaker only until now, not loved enough probably (did he ever get a hair cut) wonder what his criminal background looked like. Media calling Adam a loner, his classmates also described him as one sounds like. Security must of been pretty good to have to shoot your way into a place. Need more love in family circles yes. guns on guns will lead to another shooting, don't know if I would let me kid go back to school if a shoot out took place.

    Naomi said:
    December 18, 2012 at 7:22 AM

    Well I find it incredibly disturbing that an educator would rather gamble on whether a gunman may get into a school and shoot up a bunch of kids while their supposed protectors are defenseless, other than finding corners, closets and their own bodies to shield the children. Admittedly their may be some risk of some teacher going off the deep end at an unruly student, but weighing the odds, I believe an armed teacher may have been able to save 20 kids.
    What we really need in this country are people who have got common sense enough to pay attention to early signs of possible violence on the part of disturbed persons. Also, what happened to the institutions that we used to have in Michigan, such as at Traverse City? If a possibly dangerous person was locked up, it seems to me there would be less risk. Didn't the reports say that the Lanza woman was very private about her family life? What secrets was she keeping?

      Stand Up said:
      December 18, 2012 at 7:58 AM

      AR-15 30 round clip and a bullet proof vest & pair of hands guns, sounds like a tough fight for a teacher even armed wake up, Just heard Adam Lanza has seen his dad since 2010 prior to that he was at his dads every weekend. Was mom keeping him from seeing his dad?

    James Pfaller said:
    December 18, 2012 at 7:50 AM

    The whole story as presented was bogus and inaccurate. Any CPL holder can currently carry in a school now, they only have to open carry an the restricted areas.. The new legislation would only make it legal for those with a CPL to carry concealed in the restricted areas (schools, churches, sports and entertainment areas etc…

    I would suggest it was irresponsible for FOX17 to present the report without having all of the facts and knowing the current law and the proposed changes. The changes would make it safer and provide less alarm than someone open carrying in these areas.

    As your reporter Larry Mente stated…"Better to be First than Right"

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