Gov. Holcomb signs bill to fund handgun training for teachers

Published: May. 4, 2023 at 4:00 PM EDT
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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (WPTA) - Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb has officially signed into law a bill that will create a state-funded handgun training program for interested teachers.

Gov. Holcomb signed House Bill 1177 on Thursday, along with 90 other pieces of legislation.

The measure passed the Senate 41-8 on April 26, after the House concurred with bill changes earlier that day. Lawmakers have been working on such a measure for years, but the legislation was halted by opposition from both sides.

The bill allows for 40 hours of optional handgun training for teachers, which is funded by the state. The Associated Press says state law currently allows school districts to permit teachers to be armed, but no training is mandated.

The legislation also allows schools to apply for funding in the event of a school shooting to cover counseling costs for those impacted.

Bill critics say the measure could make schools more dangerous by bringing in more guns, saying they’re worried about the emotional impacts on children.

“The argument that a good person with a gun can stop a bad person with a gun in over 99 percent of all mass shootings across the United States did not work,” State Sen. Fady Quaddoura (D) said. “In the instances when we had heroes that were able to stop these shootings, we still had casualties.”

21Alive spoke with Borden-Henryville School Corporation Superintendent Johnny Budd when Senate first signed off on the bill, who said they already have school resources officers in place but are interested in the training the bill offers.

“And while I’m not in favor of teachers in the classroom packing a weapon, I do have interest in school personnel like maybe even myself, maybe some custodians, maybe some administrators having access to guns,” Budd said.

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