Rick Perry: Teachers Should Be Able to Carry Concealed Handguns

The governor, speaking to a tea party group in a suburb of Fort Worth, held that those with concealed carry permits should be able to bring their guns everywhere.
Tue December 18, 2012 10:09 pm
AP Photo | LM Otero

Teachers with concealed carry permits should be able to pack heat in the classroom, Texas Gov. Rick Perry told a tea party group in North Richland Hills Monday night.

At Talking Points Memo , Igor Volsky noted that this makes Perry the "highest-ranking Republican official" to jump on the teachers-packing-heat bandwagon.

“You should be able to carry your handgun anywhere in this state" if you have a concealed handgun license, Perry said, according to the Associated Press. It should be up to individual school districts to decide whether teachers should be armed.

And the Austin American-Statesman 's Jonathan Tilove pointed out that Perry drew applause when he mentioned that teachers and school administrators in Harrold Independent School District already carry weapons.

What else should be done in response to Sandy Hook? "Perry said that he believed lawmakers should consider mental health issues as well as ways to make schools safer," the AP reported. (KXAN reported that Texas ranks last among states for mental health care funding.)

On Friday, Perry called on all Texas school districts to review their emergency operation plans.

When discussing the shooting Monday, Perry's voice "broke and he paused several times." He dubbed the shooting a tragedy that “is not right" and referred to Adam Lanza as a "young man who was very disturbed."

But he hoped that Washington's reaction would be a well-considered one: “One of the things that I hope we don’t see from our federal government is this knee-jerk reaction from Washington, D.C., when there is an event that occurs, that they come in and they think they know the answer,” Perry said.

Twitter erupted with skepticism over the idea: 


But at least one Texan gun store owner supports Perry's message. Crocket Keller, owner of Kellers Riverside Gun Store in Mason, extended a discount to teachers who wanted to arm themselves. “We need to start thinking out of the box and deal with this violent culture,” Keller told CBS DFW. “We need to lobby our various state governments to allow teachers to be armed.”

Keller generated headlines last year when he ran a radio ad in which he said he wouldn't offer his Concealed Handgun Classes to "non-Christian Arabs or Muslims" or people who voted for President Obama.

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