• Bill to arm teachers, staff moving forward


    FLORIDA - A bill that would let local schools arm its teachers or staff to protect students is moving forward at the state house.

    However, on Thursday, WFTV discovered the legislation may not go far enough.

    It's similar to a proposal that failed in Lake County earlier this year. The bill, which allows districts to designate trained staff to carry concealed firearms, just got its first green light from the Florida house.

    "If they know a school is going to be protected properly that's going to be deterrent," said Eileen Rieg of Rieg's Gun Shop.

    Rieg said the bill doesn't address the psychological and mental preparation needed for staff.

    "Being able to react and be self-assured in your mind that what you are doing is the correct thing to do," said Rieg.

    Before any staff member can carry a gun onto school grounds, they will need to complete training similar to that of an armed security guard.

    The training would be required yearly, and the certification to carry the weapon would only be valid for two years.

    However, that still wouldn't be enough for Orange County Sheriff Jerry Demings.

    Earlier this year, Demings said guns don't have a place in the classroom.

    "It's very difficult to get a school teacher who hasn't gone through hours, days and months of training to be proficient enough to deal with any situation that may occur on a campus," said Demings.

    With similar sentiment from the school superintendent and mayor, it's unlikely the county will consider it even if legislators push the bill through.

    The bill doesn't require school districts to designate armed staff, it merely gives them the options to do so.

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