The idea to arm first responders like firefighters and paramedics with guns inside of schools could become reality, as lawmakers are set to debate a bill to make this happen.
Six months after the fatal Townville Elementary School shooting in the Upstate, the bill is gaining support from some firefighters, but not all parents.
Firefighters like Lugoff Fire and Rescue Chief Dennis Ray believes the only way to fight “Bad guys” with guns is to give “Good guys” guns.
Some parents believe more guns in schools means more problems, no matter the reason.
“We face life or death decisions every day,” Ray says.
Chief Ray says it’s not just police who put their lives in danger each day to help others, that his firefighters know the feeling of life threatening situations, like when patients sometimes become dangerous.
“Society is not becoming less evil. Society is eviler now than it’s ever been, and our law enforcement officers are facing that now more than ever. The disrespect for authority in society now is worse than it’s ever been,” Ray says.
After the Townville shooting, when young Jacob Hall was shot and killed by a gunman, Ray has more reason to back the bill H. 3566, that would allow firefighters with Concealed Weapons Permits to carry firearms on campuses, concealed when responding to emergencies.
The bill outlines one week of extra specialized training that would also be required.
“Anyone that would take a child’s life, there’s no doubt in my mind or the mind of our firefighters, they will gladly take our lives as well,” Ray says.
Like those in Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, are concerned over the bill for several reasons.
“There are no specific definitions of what qualifies someone to be a first responder, and be allowed to bring a weapon into a school, is a big concern,” Angela Vandelay says.
The group includes mothers of children in public schools who insist more guns make more danger.
“There’s no guarantee that that person is going to, when the police do arrive, that they will know that that person is a ‘first responder’ versus the actual intruder,” Vandelay says.
That bill is set to be on the House floor for debate.
Original story: Bill would arm first responders with guns on school grounds