Utah Passes Bill Encouraging Firearms Training for Teachers

(RightWing.org) – Utah lawmakers have passed a bill that would give teachers free tactical firearms training. It’s already legal for teachers with concealed carry permits to be armed at work. The new law aims to make sure they can use their weapons effectively in an emergency.

On February 28 the Utah Senate passed House Bill 119, the Educator-Protector Program, which the state House had passed two days earlier. It will now go to Governor Spencer Cox (R), who hasn’t confirmed he’ll sign it but is very likely to. The law will give teachers who hold a concealed carry permit access to free training on how to defend their classroom against an active shooter or other threats.

Training would be carried out by instructors chosen by country sheriffs, and participating teachers would be expected to go through it annually. Sponsor Tim Jiminez (R) says the training will be “strictly defensive” and isn’t aimed at “having teachers running around the hallways trying to act like police officers.”

Participation in the program will be optional, and teachers with carry permits will still be able to carry their guns at work if they don’t participate.

However, those who do will be protected from civil liability suits if they use a gun “in good faith” and aren’t grossly negligent. School districts will also be protected from liability if a participating teacher uses their gun. In exchange, participants will have to either carry their gun at work or buy a biometric gun safe for it at their own expense. Biometric safes, which work by checking a fingerprint or iris scan, are quicker to open under stress compared to trying to use a key or remember the PIN for a keypad lock.

According to the bill, the program will cost around $100,000 a year and be funded by the Utah Department of Public Safety.

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