Group offers 'almost free' concealed-carry gun training to St. Louis-area teachers

Group offers 'almost free' concealed-carry gun training to St. Louis-area teachers

Credit: Getty Images

SAFTI, the Saint Louis Association of Firearms Training Instructors, is offering St. Louis-area school teachers what he calls “almost free” training so they can obtain a concealed carry permit. This picture shows a similar concealed-weapons training class given to 200 Utah teachers on December 27, 2012 in West Valley City, Utah.

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by Ray Preston / News 4 and KMOV.com staff

KMOV.com

Posted on January 2, 2013 at 11:25 AM

Updated Tuesday, Nov 19 at 2:17 PM

ST. LOUIS (KMOV) -- A firearms safety instructor says SAFTI, the Saint Louis Association of Firearms Training Instructors, is offering St. Louis-area school teachers what he calls “almost free” training so they can obtain a concealed carry permit.

Instructor Michael Meyer said the offer is good for any certified teacher in the St. Louis area or from outstate Missouri. 

Meyer said those who take part must pay the range fees, but the class will be free.  He said range fees typically run about $15 and classes for a concealed carry permit generally run from $80 to $150.

In a debate where emotions run high, Meyer says he heard the same arguments several years ago when Missouri voted on the concealed-carry law.

“When concealed carry passed they said there would be wild-west shoot outs, blood in the street,” he said. “None of that’s happened.”

Meyer says he wanted to make free lessons available to teachers before the Newtown, Conn. school shootings and felt now was the time to act.

But so far it appears there’s not one district in the state that allows concealed guns on campus.

St. Louis Public School District Spokesman Patrick Wallace says only police and licensed security officers are allowed to have guns on campus.

Wallace said teachers or staff who violate the school policy, even if they possess a concealed carry permit, face disciplinary action which may include termination.

In Jefferson City, lawmakers are considering legislation that would allow teachers to have guns that may -in effect- trump a district’s policy. 

But one backer says it is not the intention of any new law to override a school district’s wishes.

The debate over allowing guns on campus is sure to fire up both sides on the issue.

“I think it has a very good chance of passing,” said Meyer. “Maybe not first try, but second try.” 

Meyer says right now the classes would be offered only to those who are certified teachers. However, it is possible that it could expand to include school staff as well.

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