While the Idaho Legislature continues to consider a cache of weapons-related bills—including the latest, which would introduce a concealed weapons enhancement that would allow Idaho gun holders to carry weapons while visiting other states—the South Dakota Legislature spurred a national debate this week when it approved a bill that allows teachers to carry guns in the classroom. South Dakota Gov. Dennis Daugaard signed the bill into law March 8.
While some states have provisions in their gun laws that also allow teachers to be armed, this is the first law that goes out of its way to specifically tell teachers that they can carry firearms.
Under the bill, "any school board may create, establish and supervise the arming of school employees," says the text of the legislation.
The bill states that arming school employees is meant to deter threats and defend the school against violent attacks.
The Associated Press reports that associations representing local school boards, school administrators and teachers have actually opposed the bill. Despite the opposition, state senators voted 21-14 March 6 to pass the measure. Under the legislation, it's still up to individual school districts to decide if they want to arm their personnel.