FLORIDA is the latest state to allow school teachers to be armed with guns to take on active shooters during emergency situations.
The controversial move follows the Parkland high school massacre when 17 were murdered by an ex-pupil.
The decision to arm teachers will be implemented in seven county school district in the state of Florida.
The law expands on a safety measure known as the “guardian” program, reported Fox32 News.
The program was created after the tragic February 2018 Parkland massacre, however it did not allow teachers to carry guns.
Dylan Tedders, the assistant superintendent of Okeechobee County in Florida, said: “That initial program [said] everybody except classroom teachers … could be armed.
“With the recent legislation, our board approved to train classroom teachers to be able to further protect our students.”
However despite seven counties accepting the program, the other 60 are refusing to do so.
State Senator Oscar Braynon told the Miami Herald: “For you to implement a program that does more harm than it does good — and we don’t even know who does it — is absolutely asinine and it’s counterproductive to what the agency for school safety is supposed to be doing.
“This is the dumb, backwards stuff that we do here.”
According to the Education Commission of the States, at least eight other states allow some teachers or other school employees to have guns. They include Idaho, Kansas, Louisiana, Missouri, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas and Wyoming.
STRING OF MASS SHOOTINGS
The decision comes as this year has already seen 22 mass shootings at US schools in which someone was hurt or killed.
The horrific Parkland massacre saw 17 pupils and staff killed by a teen gunman at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Miami.
Nikolas Cruz, 19, pulled a fire alarm and gunned down students with an AR15 assault rifle as they evacuated Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.
Students hid in classrooms until they were rescued by police in tactical gear.
What are gun laws in the US?
The vast majority of US citizens are allowed to buy and keep firearms without restriction. Non-citizens are allowed if they have a permit.
Campaign groups jealously guard the rights granted under the Second Amendment of the US Constitution, which states: “A well-regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”
Federal law sets the minimum standards for firearm regulation in the United States. Licensed gun sellers must carry out background checks on every buyer against an FBI database.
Convicted felons, illegal immigrants and those with serious mental health problems are not meant to be allowed to purchase firearms.
Individual states also have their own laws, such as on what kinds of weapon are allowed to be owned or carried in public.
The USA has less than five per cent of the world’s population, but up to half of the world’s civilian-owned guns.
It also has the highest homicide-by-firearm rate among the world’s most developed nations.
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Twelve of the dead were killed inside the school, two others just outside, one more on the street and two other victims died of their injuries at a hospital, police said.
In May, a student was shot during a spring football game at Terry Parker High School.
The victim was taken to a hospital with life-threatening injuries, but police later said he was in stable condition.
What is ‘concealed carry’?
Concealed carry is carrying a weapon such as a handgun in a concealed manner, either on one’s person or nearby.
Most states banned it in the 19th century as the practice of criminals, whereas open carrying was seen as legitimate for self-defence.
A special permit was required for concealed carry, with only certain qualified people granted a license.
The exception was Vermont, which never had any restriction.
Recently, other states such as Alaska, Arizona, Kansas, New Hampshire and Maine have changed the law to allow unrestricted concealed carry by eligible residents.
Others states have partial restrictions or require a permit.
Some areas can be declared “gun free zones”, allowing businesses put up a sign that makes it is illegal to carry a concealed firearm on the premises.
As of 2017 there had been 16.3million concealed weapon permits issued in the United States.