Governor Signs Teacher Concealed Carry Bill

Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee (R) signed a bill into law last week that allowed many teachers in the state to concealed carry firearms within schools. The move came after the deadly shooting at the Covenant Christian School in Nashville last year.

The governor said that it was important to “give districts tools and the option to use a tool that will keep their children safe.”

The decision received considerable support from within the state legislature, despite efforts by anti-gun protesters to restrict Second Amendment rights following the Covenant shooting last year. According to the new law permission to carry a firearm will come after the principal, school district and law enforcement agree.

As a result, those who carried firearms would have to have a handgun carry permit and written permission from the district and law enforcement agency. The teacher would clear a background check and take 40 hours of handgun training.

“There are folks across the state who disagree on the way forward, but we all agree that we should keep our kids safe,” Lee said as some of the parents from the school district opposed the changes.

Although they could carry on campus they could not do so at school events at stadiums, gymnasiums and auditoriums.

The shooting at the Nashville private school last March left six victims and the shooter dead and injured another. The case gained special attention in part due to the murder being committed at an elementary school The shooting was carried out by a biological female born as Audrey Hale.

Police embargoed the manifesto of Hale rather than release it to the public, which was later leaked to the public. The writings included hateful messages and hopes to kill as many people as possible and statements against ‘White privilege.’

The shift comes as a number of states have loosened concealed carry laws, including allowing for permitless, or ‘constitutional’ carry. This includes the shift in Florida, signed into law by Gov. Ron DeSantis last year.