In wake of school shooting, lawmakers press for gun, school resource officer changes

Updated: Dec. 20, 2016 at 3:48 PM EST
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COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - It's a face you'll never forget and now family members are working to make sure you'll never forget his name.

As we reported in September, 6-year-old Jacob Hall was killed after a gunman opened fire at an Upstate elementary school.

Jacob's family has been working with state lawmakers on legislation that would ensure teachers can help keep children safe from a possible attack. A new bill would give educators permission to carry a gun to school.

The family began speaking out on installing more resource officers in schools back in October. Now, some Upstate lawmakers say these bills are the answer and the compromise to those wishes.

The Townville Elementary School shooting killed Jacob and injured another student and a teacher when the shooter opened fire on the playground. Jacob's aunt said the family hopes resource officers could be stationed at each school to react to a live shooter situation, but lawmakers say the price tag on that would be about $84 million.

RELATED: See photos from the Townville Elementary School shooting.

Bills allowing schools to start a program of having employees or teachers train with state police, and carry a firearm concealed, on their person, when not responding to a live shooter, is the answer for now.

"There's safety mechanisms where the individual would have to keep it on their person at all times, in an approved holster," Rep. Josh Putnam said. "The school district and principal can even regulate the type of ammunition they carry on school grounds."

The representative who filed the House bill says he was inspired to write this one because one of the first responders to the Townville shooting scene was a firefighter with a CWP.

Meanwhile, a similar bill was filed in the Senate, but Sen. Kevin Bryant isn't giving up on resource officers. He plans to introduce a bill for senators to debate how to pay for the officers.

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