Amid a national debate over arming teachers to prevent or minimize the death toll in school shootings, South Carolina State Rep. Steven Long (R) announced a contest on Monday to give away three Smith & Wesson 9mm handguns; one to a K-12 teacher or staff, one to a teacher or staff in higher education, and a third to "any freedom-loving patriot who wishes to participate in the drawing."
Long is also offering free Concealed-Carry training towards obtaining a Concealed Weapons Permit (CWP).
"The teachers will also be given a gift certificate to attend a class to earn their Concealed Weapons Permit (CWP). In this class they will learn about the laws surrounding the carrying of firearms and self defense, how to properly handle and fire a handgun, and they will be given a field test to ensure they can shoot accurately. All of which is required by law to obtain a CWP."
The contest is being held in partnership with Schell Arms, South-Carolina based Federal Firearms Licensed (FFL) business.
“We must do everything we can to ensure the safety of children in schools, both K-12 and our higher education institutions. Allowing teachers or school staff members to carry is the most efficient and most effective way to do this,” Rep Long said. "...for those who are willing and able, we need to allow them this protection. I’m open to a discussion regarding the specifics of a program that allows teachers to carry, but it is undeniable that we must take action on this issue.”
Long's contest follows several comments by President Trump on the topic of arming teachers, who told participants at a White House "listening session" on gun control; "If you had a teacher who was adept at firearms, they could very well end the attack very quickly, and the good thing about a suggestion like that -- and we're going to be looking at it very strongly, and I think a lot of people are going to be opposed to it. I think a lot of people are going to like it. But the good thing is you're going to have a lot of [armed] people with that."
President Trump on concealed carry for teachers: "If you had a teacher who was adept at firearms, they could very well end the attack very quickly." pic.twitter.com/SnKjyYH0uw— Josh Caplan (@joshdcaplan) February 21, 2018
Earlier in the week, Butler, Ohio sheriff Richard K. Jones offered free firearms training to 50 teacher, which he posted to his department's official Facebook page. After a flood of applicants, Jones was forced to cut it off at 300 participants.
“We put it online, we thought we’d get 20 school teachers maybe. Within 20 minutes we had 40. Within an hour we had 100. Within four hours we had 200. By the next morning, at 300, we cut it off,” Butler County Sheriff Richard Jones said on “Fox & Friends.”
If you listen 2 media teachers do not want to carry weapons in schools. We have over 300 said want 2.— Richard K. Jones (@butlersheriff) February 24, 2018
“We have to do something here because we can’t wait for our government to do anything. All they do is fight, they get nothing done,” said Jones.
“We can’t stop the school shootings, we can’t stop guns from being manufactured, but we've got to do something, we've got to make the schools more of a hardened target,” said Sheriff Jones - adding that the class was open to teachers, secretaries and maintenance workers.