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Utah educators offered free concealed-gun class

Published December 31, 2013 8:21 pm

Repeat • Instruction last year attracted 150 participants after Sandy Hook shooting.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

The Utah Shooting Sports Council is offering a free class Friday to qualify educators who want to carry concealed firearms in schools.

The class is scheduled on Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Salt Lake City Main Library, 210 E. 400 South.

While the class is free, those who attend are responsible to pay for the non-refundable concealed firearm permit application, which is $46 for Utah residents and $51 for nonresidents. Those seeking to attend the class for free must also present staff/faculty identification.

Registration and more information is available online at utahshootingsportscouncil.org, or by calling 801-829-1486.

"The class is open not only to teachers but also all other staff that work in schools," said Clark Aposhian, chairman of the council. "Because of the popularity last year, we wanted to offer it again."

The class last year — held just weeks after the Sandy Hook School shooting in Newtown, Conn., where 20 children and six adults were killed — attracted 150 teachers and school employees, and another 50 or so were turned away for lack of space.

The class last year also came about a week after the National Rifle Association made a controversial call for armed police officers in every school, saying it would improve security. Utah and Kansas are the only two states that allow concealed weapons permit holders to carry firearms on school grounds.

Calls for officers and teachers to carry guns in schools have generated plenty of controversy in Utah and the nation. For example, the nation's two largest teachers unions, the National Education Association and the American Federation of Teachers, have said that arming educators won't improve school safety and that "guns have no place in our schools." The groups have instead called for a renewed focus on bullying prevention, mental-health services and gun control.