An Alabama lawmaker says he’s against arming teachers because most are women and “are scared of guns.”
State Rep. Harry Shiver, a Republican, made the comments in an interview with AL.com.
“I’m not saying all (women), but in most schools, women are (the majority) of the teachers,” Shiver told AL.com. “Some of them just don’t want to (be trained to possess firearms). If they want to, then that’s good. But most of them don’t want to learn how to shoot like that and carry a gun.”
He also told AL.com reporter John Sharp that he believed most women “are scared of guns.”
Neither Shiver nor his office could be reached by CNN for comment.
Shiver first made the argument in a public hearing to discuss a bill to authorize arming teachers.
The measure would allow teachers or administrators to carry pistols on school grounds after completing a 40-hour training program, according to the state legislature’s website.
“We don’t need to have a lady teacher in a school that’s got a firearm,” Shiver said during the Public Safety Committee hearing on Wednesday morning, according to CNN affiliate WSFA. “I taught for 32 years and it’s mostly ladies that’s teaching and they got more things to worry about than a gun.”
Shiver later gave the interview to AL.com, elaborating on his point.
“Most women wouldn’t like to be put in that position,” he said. “I know from South Alabama, they wouldn’t.”
He also expressed the concern that police could mistake armed teachers for gunmen in a school shooting scenario, saying he had family members who had served as highway patrolmen.
“When the highway patrolman bursts onto a site like that, they shoot the first one holding the gun out,” he said. “They aren’t told that person is qualified (to carry a firearm).”
The bill was later approved by the House committee, according to a tweet from the bill’s sponsor, Republican Rep. Will Ainsworth.
The hearing took place as the debate over whether or not to arm teachers has reached a fever pitch in the wake of the school shooting in Parkland, Florida, last month.
Shiver’s remarks came just days after a teacher in Northern California accidentally fired his gun into the classroom’s ceiling while teaching a lesson. A 17-year-old student was injured by a bullet fragment or debris, according to the police chief.
And late last month, another teacher in Dalton, Georgia, was arrested after he barricaded himself in a classroom and shot his handgun out a window, police said.