In response to the tragedy in Newtown, Conn., Oklahoma Rep. Mark McCullough (R-Sapulpa) has stated his intention to introduce legislation in the upcoming session to allow principals and teachers that receive training to carry firearms.
It is an idea that has sparked interest from Sen. Frank Simpson (R-Ardmore) and Rep. Pat Ownbey (R-Ardmore). But both feel it is a subject that requires more study and several conditions.
"I sort of have mixed emotions anytime you discuss bringing guns into the schools," Simpson said. "It is sad we are even talking about this subject but it is where we are at as a society.
"I don't see anything wrong with the bill if they are CLEET (Council on Law Enforcement Education and Training) certified and properly trained."
Simpson also said if legislation were passed, he would like to see the final decision made at the local level.
"Even if we pass legislation, I would like to see those decisions made locally by the parents, the educators and administration," Simpson said.
In the wake of the school shooting, Simpson said he has received emails from a number of principals and superintendents in his district supporting McCullough's proposed legislation.
Monday night, Ownbey posted a message on his Facebook page to gauge interest in the bill. The response was positive for such legislation but Ownbey said he would like further study.
"I think it is a very interesting scenario," Ownbey said. "I would personally like a weapon at my disposal and I think it is something we should look at. I certainly wouldn't be opposed but there would have to be safeguards in place and it would have to be the school district that would make the decision. I don't think the legislature should make the decision."
Ownbey also said he believes schools should have security that is CLEET certified or those with a gun should be certified.
"When you have a shooter that is out there, obviously to cause problems and kill people, you are talking about a different kind of person," Ownbey said. "The training would have to be intensive and that could be done with CLEET. There would be teachers that would not want to do this and that would be fine. We just need to do more homework on it."