Sen. David Burns, a Washington County Republican and retired Maine State Police trooper, believes schools are “soft targets” for crazed gunmen because they know none of the teachers are armed.
So Burns has submitted a bill that would give school districts the authority to allow teachers and other school employees to carry concealed weapons on campus.
“This is not a mandate for anybody,” said Burns, who lives in Whiting. “This is an option for school systems to consider as they look at the overall responsibility and problems of protecting children and staff in school environments.”
The bill would require those employees carrying guns in school to complete a firearms training course and a psychological exam in addition to the concealed weapons permit the state would already require. Parents would be notified that an employee at their child’s school is carrying a concealed weapon, but the person’s identity would be kept confidential, Burns said.
The bill would also give school districts the authority to hire armed security guards. Currently, state law only allows police officers to carry guns in schools.
The proposal has prompted some unexpected reactions.
Tom Franklin, president of Maine Citizens Against Handgun Violence, which plans to push…