Bedford Co. Sheriff Reacts to School Gun Proposal
Bedford Co., VA - Sheriff Mike Brown says he'd actually be ok with teachers carrying concealed weapons, if they can hit their target with the same precision expected of his deputies.
It's nothing for Deputy Ryan Nash to hit his target. As assistant tact team leader in Bedford County, he qualifies with his Glock twice a year, and has active shooter training every month.
Sheriff Brown says if teachers and school administrators want to carry guns in school, they need to be able to do what Deputy Nash does and not just get a concealed carry permit.
"It's not good enough for me," Brown said.
The Sheriff says school employees should qualify with their weapons, under the watchful eye of law enforcement range instructors.
Good shot or not, for a teacher, Sheriff Brown wouldn't want their gun in school unless they passed a psychological test and had a bullet proof vest in their classroom.
"If a teacher's standing there with a handgun, the deputy who's coming in, city police officer or whoever is not going to know that this is not the shooter," Brown said.
That same teacher, trying to protect students, could be a potential danger to plain clothes officers responding to a school.
"What if the teacher sees that person and starts firing at what he or she believes is the shooter and it's actually a police officer," Brown explained. "Can we identify every possible scenario that would go wrong? No."
Another hypothetical situation: the shooter could kill the teacher and steal that identifying vest, passing himself off as a good guy. Police train for that sort of scenario in those active shooter drills.
Delegate Kathy Byron, her democratic opponent Katie Webb-Cyphert, and Terry Austin, the republican seeking Lacey Putney's seat, all tell ABC 13 they'd decide after meeting with supervisors to go over legislative requests.
The meeting typically happens in December.
Delegate Scott Garrett says he expects to see legislation to arm teachers in the general assembly and he looks forward to being part of that process. His opponent Independent Jonathan Parrish says he supports the supervisors initiative and would work with them.
ABC 13 did not hear back from Senator Steve Newman or Lewis Medlin, the democrat running for Putney's seat.