PERMIAN BASIN - The issue of guns in America has been a hot button issue following the Newtown tragedy, specifically protecting schools with guns. Now a petition is floating around the Basin asking people to support the idea of allowing teachers to have a concealed weapon in class to protect students.
Many use a gun as a sport, while others see it as an opportunity to protect children at schools.
"Getting the guns in the hands of one those types of individuals are going to help to deter an individual who knows that the schools are no longer gun free zones. It's going to deter some of it," Derek New, who wrote the petition, said.
NewsWest 9 met up with New at a local shooting range, he penned a petition asking West Texans to back him up for school districts in the area to allow teachers to be armed with a gun.
"I want to get the word out and let people know that there is a solution to these shootings. We've tried the gun free zones, they've proven to not work," New said.
He says many of the mass shootings that have happened occurs in gun free zones.
"These mass shootings could be stopped, certainly stopped if they ever do begin, they'll be stopped by someone armed and ready to stop them," New said.
New hopes when he receives enough petitions to present them to area school boards soon.
"I'm proposing a plan that will not cost the tax payers a single dime. The teachers will have to pay a fee to get their license and to be able to carry these guns and buy their own guns. This is my opinion on how it should go," New said.
According to New, not all teachers would carry a gun, only those who pass a certain type of security screening. He then hopes school officials would agree with him and put to rest the misconception he says there is about guns.
"The other misconception are the definitions of what an assault weapon is, beyond being full auto, the other features that create an assault weapon have nothing to do with the gun being more or less deadly," New said.
The petitions are can be found at gun shops in Midland and Odessa. As of Saturday, they are located at Tejas Shooting Sports, Brush Mountain Outfitters and The Rusty Spur in Odessa. In Midland, the petition is located at Bear Claw Knife and Shear.
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