EC principal supports bill to allow guns at private schools - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

EC principal supports bill to allow guns at private schools

Eau Claire (WQOW) -

We're still 2 months away from a new legislative session, but one state lawmaker already plans to introduce a bill that would allow guns at some schools. 

Representative Jesse Kremer, a Republican from Kewaskum, says state law needs to change to allow gun owners with conceal carry permits to bring weapons onto private school grounds. He believes schools should let licensed, trained teachers and staff keep guns as a means to stop deadly mass shootings. 

Currently, the state's conceal and carry law stops anyone from bringing a weapon onto school grounds, private or public. The proposal would affect private schools initially.

The principal at Bethel Christian School in Eau Claire told News 18 he's in full support of the proposal because he already brings a firearm to school, and isn't breaking the law by doing so. 

Pastor Tom Couture said after a disgruntled student shot at their school decades ago he supports any plan meant to protect the student body. 

"I don't think it's enough to be able to tell the students to just simply run or to hide," Couture said. "I think we should have some kind of an equal footing, should something like that happen. God forbid." 

That's why the principal brings his own weapons to school. He hopes he never has to use them, but says he wants to be prepared for the worst. 

News 18 did contact the Eau Claire Police Department to clarify the current law about weapons on school grounds and find out whether or not Principal Couture was in violation. After speaking with the District Attorney's Office, they said someone with the proper permission and permits is allowed to be armed on school grounds. 

Principal Couture told News 18 he was given special permission through the church and is within his rights. Couture also said he's confident parents of his students would support his decision to be armed on campus, as many of them are members of his congregation with their own conceal and carry permits. 

News 18 also reached out to several other private schools in Eau Claire. Officials at St. Mark's Lutheran School say before they would enforce any new policy concerning guns they would have in depth discussions with their board of education and entire congregation. 

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