SPRINGFIELD, Ore. -- A gun store is offering free concealed handgun training to teachers and school administrators.
In a Facebook post, Donnie Myers, the owner of 295 Tactical in Springfield, said they are offering the Oregon Concealed Handgun class to teach school administrators how to use handguns and respond to a school emergency.
Meyers said the issue of school safety is personal to him. In 1998, he responded to the Thurston High School shooting that left two people dead and 25 injured. After the recent school shooting in Florida, he said he wants to take action.
"So we put something in the hands of the teachers where they can defend themselves and they can keep not only themselves but their kids safe,” Myers said.
Although, that raises concerns for others in the community. Anne Goff, the President of the Springfield Education Association, said guns don’t belong in schools.
“It is emotional, I was in the district when the Thurston shooting happened, not at Thurston but in the district down the street at Riverbend,” Goff said. “Every time there is a shooting we go back to that, and we need to do things to prevent this. We need to do things to keep students safe, but arming teachers is not the answer.”
She said they should focus on providing more mental health professionals and counselors in the school, as well as implementing additional safety measures.
“The teachers that I have talked to, the teachers that I have communicated with uniformly have said 'I have done things I sometimes don't think are a good idea or I have done things I might disagree with, but if you ask me to carry a gun, that is the day I will quit',” Goff said.
Myers said he is offering the class in hopes it can save one life.
“This may not be the overall solution, but if it helps just save one kid, one teacher, avoid one shooting, it's worth it,” Myers said.
Many districts including Eugene’s 4J, Bethel and Springfield do not allow teachers to carry handguns in the classroom.
If interested contact 295 Tactical at (541) 393-6878.