Education leaders speak out against guns in school parking lots


The debate over guns in school parking lots had been one sided at the Indiana legislature, but that changed Friday.

It is already legal to have a firearm in your car while you pick up your children at school. SB 229 would make it legal for licensed gun owners to also keep concealed weapons in their parked cars on school grounds as well.

For most of the session, gun rights advocates were heard loud and clear at the Statehouse on the issue with opposition only from the group Concerned Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America. On Friday, a group of principals, superintendents, teachers and parents also mobilized against the bill.

They presented a letter blasting the bill, saying, "SB 229 takes away all power from schools and teachers to create gun-safe zones for the safety of their students and staff."

"If you are standing out on duty...sometimes there are custody battles going on or other issues like that. I hate to see firearms in the hands of people who might not have control of their tempers," said Teresa Meredith, president of the Indiana State Teachers Association.

Chuck Little represents the Indiana Urban Schools Association, which also signed off on the letter.

"We are not talking about the guns....There are a lot of screwballs in the world, a lot of people who act impulsively in the world and a lot of people want to solve their problems in a hasty manner. To put this kind of situation in the realm of possibility on school grounds should not be heard."

The bill did get one hearing in the House but did not get a hearing in the Senate. President Pro Tem Sen. David Long (R-Fort Wayne) said that is not unusual in a short session. He added this bill is designed to fix an unintentional consequence of current Indiana law.

"We don't want to create a situation where they are breaking the law because it didn't occur to them when they showed up with a gun in their briefcase or in their glove box where they would keep it," said Sen. Long. "That is happening and we need to address that."

A conference committee hearing is expected to take place on Monday. The letter will be presented at that time.