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Weber County offering gun safety classes for teachers

WEBER COUNTY – The recent school shooting in Florida has reportedly sparked renewed interest from educators to learn how they can better protect themselves during a shooting.  The Weber County Sheriff’s Office is reminding people there are classes specifically designed for this.

There’s a lot of debate about whether or not teachers should be carrying guns.  In Utah, many of them already are.  Lieutenant Jeff Pledger says, “State law is what allows a concealed weapons permit holder to take a firearm into a school.”

It’s a seven-week program, and the department has been teaching it since 2013.  Pledger says it lasts 28 hours, spread out over seven weeks.  “Eight hours of that is spent in live fire range time.  That’s after an additional four hours spent in classroom discussion with the firearms with no ammunition.”

Pledger says they teach more than just firearm safety.  They also teach things like spotting the safest area in any given room, and how to treat someone who may have been shot.  “It might actually make a difference in saving lives,” he says.

The classes aren’t just meant for teachers, but bus drivers, administrators or anyone who works inside a school.  Pledger says the classes usually fill up, quickly.  “Law enforcement wants to be there.  We’re willing to get there as soon as we can to help solve that problem. The fact of the matter is that we can’t be everywhere at all times.”