CLAY COUNTY, Ind. (WTHI) – Indiana lawmakers pass a controversial bill that allows guns inside cars in school parking lots.
The move has a lot of people talking. Is this a step forward or backward when it comes to protecting students?
“If they allowed that I would carry my gun. I would be one of those advocates that says lets protect our children,” said Charlene Plunkett.
It’s a piece of legislation creating a stir in the Hoosier state.
For Plunkett, a mom of two, she sees the change in legislation as a form of safety in the event of an emergency.
“Parents that can actually defend and be there and be prepared for the students that do act out it gives me a sigh of relief that I have someone there to protect my children also,” she said.
School corporations have a different view.
Many school administrators see the bill that allows guns to be hidden in parked and locked cars as creating a new set of safety issues.
“You have a rival ball game and the scenario is that one particular patron of that game, whether their a student, graduate, or parent, at that point it’s a lot more convenient to walk out to my car where I know I have a gun and confront someone I’m in conflict with,” stated Kimberly Tucker, Superintendent of Clay Community Schools.
Tucker fears if the action is no longer a felony offense, more guns will be closer to students.
“Somebody who may have thought twice and really is not appropriate to have a weapon will now kind of understand that there’s a lessened risk of them having that weapon on school property,” said Tucker.
The new measure would exclude students leaving guns in cars unless they have written permission from the principal.
“I’ve always carried a gun. I don’t carry it with me because I am on school grounds, because the law hadn’t passed yet, but now that it has it gives me a piece of mind,” says Plunkett.
It may be a piece of mind for supporters but another worry for schools.
“The fewer guns on campus the safer the schools,” says Tucker.
The bill is currently awaiting Governor Pence’s signature.