ATLANTA — Gov. Nathan Deal on Wednesday predicted passage of a bill that would allow trained administrators to have guns in schools.
During the Georgia Chamber of Commerce’s annual Eggs and Issues breakfast, Deal said much of any new gun-control measures were in the realm of federal government.
But the governor acknowledged he agreed with one state lawmaker’s idea in response to the December elementary school shooting in Connecticut that killed 26 children and adults: a bill to allow administrators who undergo the same weapons training as law-enforcement officers to carry guns in schools.
“That one does have some merit,” Deal said of a bill proposed by Rep. Paul Battles, R-Cartersville, that would authorize local school boards to arm principals if they choose. “If someone is going to be in an environment around children, they certainly need to be trained. I think it’s one that may receive favorable consideration by the General Assembly.”
Other bills would either impose greater restrictions on the owning of firearms or remove them entirely.
Terry Tittel, of Evans, said arming school administrators with weapons is not a good solution for preventing school violence.
“They’re already trying to do the best to teach our children. Now, you’re going to add something else for them to train on,” Tittel said. “Let’s develop a less encroaching solution, a different type of security for all the doors as you’re coming in.”
J.D. Drinnen, of Martinez, agrees with arming school administrators but said it should be voluntary, not mandatory.
“That’s a serious thing to contemplate especially if you’re surrounded by children,” Drinnen said.
Russell Creighton, of North Augusta, said training school administrators to carry guns is not necessary if police are present at schools.
“That’s just overkill,” Creighton said.