Proposed bill would provide incentives to teachers carrying guns in Utah schools

Jan 10, 2024, 3:00 PM

teachers get gun training for utah schools...

Detective Justin Mortensen shows schoolteachers how to stand when firing a gun during a class at the Utah County Sheriff's Office in Spanish Fork on Wednesday, June 12, 2019. (Laura Seitz/Deseret News)

(Laura Seitz/Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY — One of the bills Utah lawmakers may get a chance to vote on this session would provide incentives for teachers and other staffers willing to carry a firearm in school.

Rep. Tim Jimenez is working on H.B. 119, which he said emphasizes training for teachers and other staffers who want to carry a gun while in school.

“We have a lot of teachers that carry anyway. Why not get them the training they deserve so they can feel more confident and feel like they can actually perform to a higher level?”

The bill would provide three things for teachers and other staffers willing to carry a firearm in school; legal protection, training and storage funding.

Legal protection for teachers using guns at school in Utah

Jimenez said using a gun could open a teacher up to legal liability, even if they’re only using it to protect themselves or their students. Jimenez said that legal protection is necessary to help the teacher or staffer focus should there ever be a reason for them to use their gun. 

“If you have to use your firearm defensively, we want to make sure that you’re not pulling it out and the only thing you’re thinking about is a bunch of lawyers and a bunch of legal issues. But that you can focus on defending the children during that time.”

The bill would give them better peace of mind that they can act accordingly, without worrying about possible legal liabilities.

“Just like a good samaritan law where if you’re trying to help someone in good faith performing CPR, the Heimlich maneuver you can’t be held liable because you’re trying in good faith. We want to cover them in that same way.”

“Absolutely essential” training

Jimenez said a second key factor of the bill would be to provide a training requirement. Besides just making sure someone can handle and be safe with a gun, he said the training would focus on how to be tactically defensive. 

“As we already have firearms in our schools, I think it’s absolutely essential that we provide an opportunity for our teachers, the personnel that are working there and interacting there, to make sure that they have the training they need to be prepared to defend and protect our children.”

One key aspect of that training would be to make sure teachers learn to defend their specific classrooms, rather than the entire school.

“We don’t need 100 people running around, without badges, trying to defend our schools. No one’s going to know who’s supposed to be there [and] who isn’t. That would introduce chaos. The idea is let’s do this within each classroom.”

Safe storage

If passed, the bill would provide schools $500 to allow teachers participating in the training program to have a biometric gun safe. Biometric gun safes require a fingerprint to open.

Jimenez said he hopes to have the bill ready for this session but will hold off until next year if it isn’t.


We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

Education + Schools

taylor swift performing eras tour concert, a new class at weber state focuses on swift...


Weber State University to offer class on Taylor Swift this fall

The Weber State University Taylor Swift class was offered for the first time this spring and filled up quickly.

17 hours ago

cellphone schools...

Peter Johnston

Bill that would remove competency test requirement for teachers looks ready to pass

Currently, those pursuing a teaching license in Utah are required to pass a classroom management test. However, it could disappear from Utah's teaching licensure requirements if a bill passes the Senate this week.

20 hours ago

After starting the new year with poor air quality, Utah may finally be able to take a breath and fi...

Heather Peterson

New black carbon sensor is more portable but just as accurate, study finds

A new study from the University of Utah finds that recently released black carbon new units are just as accurate in detecting black carbon, but they are more portable and affordable.

24 hours ago

A lone American flag waves in the morning breeze Wednesday, Aug. 14, 2002, at the Bonneville Salt F...

Allessandra Harris

Water may be the solution to saving the salt flats

With the Bonneville Salt Flats eroding, newly discovered research may have found a way to save them.

4 days ago

utah capitol pictured, a new law centers adoption legal expenses open records utah...

Curt Gresseth

Bill creating Utah AI lab advances, would test tech, prevent missteps

SB 149 would create an AI lab and test technology while protecting the public in Utah.

5 days ago

The block U appears on the University of Utah, the school will no longer require sat or act scores...

Heather Peterson

University of Utah indefinitely pauses SAT and ACT admissions requirements

The University of Utah paused its SAT and ACT requirements two years ago, but the policy has now been extended indefinitely.

6 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Mother and cute toddler child in a little fancy wooden cottage, reading a book, drinking tea and en...

Visit Bear Lake

How to find the best winter lodging in Bear Lake, Utah

Winter lodging in Bear Lake can be more limited than in the summer, but with some careful planning you can easily book your next winter trip.

Happy family in winter clothing at the ski resort, winter time, watching at mountains in front of t...

Visit Bear Lake

Ski more for less: Affordable ski resorts near Bear Lake, Utah

Plan your perfect ski getaway in Bear Lake this winter, with pristine slopes, affordable tickets, and breathtaking scenery.

front of the Butch Cassidy museum with a man in a cowboy hat standing in the doorway...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Looking Back: The History of Bear Lake

The history of Bear Lake is full of fascinating stories. At over 250,000 years old, the lake has seen generations of people visit its shores.

silhouette of a family looking over a lake with a bird in the top corner flying...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

8 Fun Activities To Do in Bear Lake Without Getting in the Water

Bear Lake offers plenty of activities for the whole family to enjoy without having to get in the water. Catch 8 of our favorite activities.

Wellsville Mountains in the spring with a pond in the foreground...

Wasatch Property Management

Advantages of Renting Over Owning a Home

Renting allows you to enjoy luxury amenities and low maintenance without the long-term commitment and responsibilities of owning a home.

Clouds over a red rock vista in Hurricane, Utah...

Wasatch Property Management

Why Southern Utah is a Retirement Paradise

Retirement in southern Utah offers plenty of cultural and recreational opportunities. Find out all that this region has to offer.

Proposed bill would provide incentives to teachers carrying guns in Utah schools