Latest Weather Information


The Great Smoky Mountain Journal


Posted: Tuesday, January 01, 2019 02:36 PM

Home Weather Local Our View State National World Faith

Oak Ridge Gun Store To Offer Free Shooting Lessons To Teachers Who Want To Carry/Conceal

After watching too many school shootings across the country, an East Tennessee gun range decided to take steps they believed would help teachers protect their students.

The SET Guns & Range facility in Oak Ridge has offered all current working teachers in East Tennessee an opportunity to take free handgun carry permit classes. Owner Denise Walker said she doesn't necessarily want all teachers armed, but those who want to protect, she's willing to help.

"I want the teachers to be able to protect themselves and the children and not just hide behind a desk and hope the shooter goes somewhere else and doesn't mess with them," Walker said.

The classes usually cost about $45, but Walker said she will make it free for teachers. However, just completing the class does not allow for teachers to carry on most campuses.

A Tennessee bill could soon change that. HB2208 would allow the following, per its verbiage:

"[Legislation would allow] Private certified firearms instructors to provide instruction to certain school employees, as discussed below.

"Under present law, the local boards of education in Wayne and Pickett counties may adopt a policy allowing the director of schools, in consultation with the principal of each school, to authorize and select employees who may carry a concealed handgun within and on the grounds of their respective schools. Employees selected to carry a handgun must meet certain requirements, including having completed at least 40 hours of peace officers standards and training (POST) commission approved handgun instruction and 16 hours a year of continuing instruction, administered and taught by a local law enforcement agency."

Walker said her store could be the first step for a teacher who chooses to carry and complete training.

"Practice, practice practice, just because you have a carry permit does not make you qualified to carry a firearm," Walker said.

SET is located at 311 Oak Ridge Turnpike, Oak Ridge, TN, 37830.