Arizona

Mar 14, 2013 3:25 PM

Arizona Senate OKs guns for any school employee

PHOENIX - State senators voted Wednesday to allow a teacher, administrator, custodian or even a cafeteria worker at rural and some suburban schools to be armed.

Sen. Rich Crandall, R-Mesa, said SB 1325 would improve student safety. He said while better mental-health screening and more police officers at schools are important, it is also necessary to provide schools with a "self-defense component."

Crandall joined with other Republicans to beat back an effort to require that whoever is designated to carry a gun must report to police if the weapon is lost or stolen. That brought derision from Sen. Steve Gallardo, D-Phoenix.

"The only reason that gun owners do not want to report they lost their gun or they misplaced it is because they're too embarrassed," Gallardo said. "They don't want people to know that they're an irresponsible firearm holder."

And Gallardo said that notice of an errant gun really should not be limited to police.

"At the very least, I would believe every parent would want to know that their child is going to a school that may have a gun roaming around," he said.

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