Summarized by Eric Bunker
Ban weapons at schools, UEA urges
Deseret News 19May99 L1
By Jennifer Toomer-Cook and Bob Bernick Jr.: Deseret News staff writers
In the wake of last month's shooting at the Family History Center in Salt
Lake City, many have been calling for more gun control regulation in Utah,
including President Hinckley.
Some education and civic groups have been calling for a special legislative
session to discuss gun-violence matters. Utah Gov. Mike Leavitt, and active
church member, at first hesitated, but after GOP legislative leaders told
three legislative committees to study the matter, the Governor asked
executive branch groups to study the issue and said he was open to calling a
special session if constructive actions can be taken.
The state's largest teacher's union on Wednesday called for a ban of
concealed weapons on school property among other suggestions that educators
believe would ensure safety in Utah schools.
Steve Laign, the state superintendent of public instruction, said, "Guns
have no place in schools," regardless of whether the carrier is a
However, Gun rights advocates oppose changing state laws that allow a
concealed weapons permit holder to carry a gun on school grounds. They
point out that that past well-publicized crimes taking place on school
grounds could have been avoided if the victims were armed.
Scott Engen, of Gun Owners of Utah, pointed out that, "many Utah educators
have been assaulted and victimized at school, drivers shot during school bus
highjackings, coaches shot during gang fights on schools grounds, even
custodians abducted from school grounds and raped and murdered. Depriving
these educators of their means of self-defense, even under the guise of
school safety, will only serve to put these educators at further risk of