Mississippi lawmakers have passed a bill permitting educators to carry firearms in the classroom the same day a school shooting in Nashville, Tenn. left six deceased.
Senate Bill 2079, authored by Senator Angela Hill, R-Picayune, creates the Mississippi School Protection Act, which allows school districts to opt into a program that grants volunteering staff members the opportunity to become certified to possess a gun on campus.
“If a school wants to put together an armed educator team to work with law enforcement and to be trained to basically assist in the time of an active shooter or some unfortunate situation, the framework is now in place once we get this bill through the House,” Senator Hill said on The Gallo Show.
The program will be administered by Mississippi Homeland Security under the umbrella of the Mississippi Department of Public Safety (DPS).
To participate in the program, one must possess an enhanced or concealed carry permit prior to applying.
According to DPS Commissioner Sean Tindell, once qualified, those participating in the program go through a two to three-week training session where they are educated on tactics related to gun safety and proper interaction with the police if a crisis happened to occur.
“They would learn self-defense tactics. They would learn firearm tactics. They would learn communication with law enforcement,” Tindell said on MidDays with Gerard Gibert. “If we’re going to have teachers in schools with a firearm, they’re going to have the proper training and an interaction plan with law enforcement.”
Training would be conducted at the Mississippi Law Enforcement Officer Training Academy in Pearl and led by multiple law enforcement agencies in collaboration with one another.
SB 2079 will now be sent to the desks of the House Speaker and Senate President to be signed before heading to Governor Tate Reeves for final passage.