Should teachers be trained to carry a gun?

GRAND ISLAND, N.Y. (WKBW) - President Donald Trump said he is open to the idea of allowing specially trained school staff and teachers to carry concealed guns to protect students.  The President feels "Gun Free Zones" do not work because they only encourage a "maniac" to "let's go in and let's attack because bullets aren't coming back at us."

A local firearms training and security firm on Grand Island, called Defensor Inc., is already training teachers from Ohio so they can carry a concealed gun in the classroom.

"These schools are just helpless.  They are just waiting to be a victim," said Defensor Chief Operating Officer Dave DiTullio.

However, not everyone agrees.

The New York State United Teachers Union (NYSUT) told 7 Eyewitness News Reporter Ed Reilly that the idea was "senseless." 

"It's hard to think of a worse idea," NYSUT spokesman Carl Korn said. "It is misguided and counterproductive to believe that arming teachers and militarizing our schools will make them safer." 

The union added that having guns in the school only increases the chances that a student could get their hands on one.  The union used the example of a gun being left in an unattended, open purse. 

NYSUT also felt there was an increased risk of students being hit by a stray bullet fired by a teacher.  "They are trained to be teachers, not armed security guards," said a spokesperson.

Instead, NYSUT would like to see increased funding for mental health programs and guidance counselors.

Ed Reilly has more in his report.

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