Mo. Gov. Jay Nixon opposes proposal to arm teachers

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. - Mo. Gov. Jay Nixon does not want teachers in the Show-Me State to carry weapons.

Nixon sent a letter on Monday to the superintendents of all 520 of the state's public school districts, stating he opposed legislation that would allow teachers to carry guns in classrooms.

State lawmakers said they would talk about legislation allowing teachers to have guns in the classroom after the Dec. 14 shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., where 20 children and six adults died.

"I have serious concerns about recently introduced legislation that proposes not only to arm teachers, but to do so by taking away the authority of local school districts to keep guns out of classrooms," Nixon said in the letter. "More can and should be done to enhance school safety, but this legislation would put our children at risk and limit the ability of local school districts to keep their schools safe.

"Putting loaded weapons in classrooms is quite simply the wrong approach to a serious issue that demands careful analysis and thoughtful solutions."

Nixon is an avid hunter and owns guns. He has asked the legislature to look at the availability of particularly lethal weapons this session, but stopped short of asking for any specific gun-control measures, according to an Associated Press report.

Missouri state Senator Stanley Cox said he thinks guns in schools do make students safer.

"The protection that the proponents of conceal carry advocate, that people, if good lawful citizens have a right to provide protection, that it actually makes them safer," Cox said. "Prohibiting guns in that particular zone actually makes it more likely that violence might occur. And, if violence might occur, that it will be worse."

Nixon promised to stay in contact with the superintendents and find "common sense solutions" to keep Missouri schools safe.

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