In the wake of the deadly school shooting in Connecticut, every level of government is looking at ways to make public places safer.
In Dickinson county, some National Rifle Association certified instructors are looking to train any teachers and school staff in the certified pistol license course for free.
The Sagola Sportsman's Club was packed with people training for their Certified Pistol License. NRA instructors from Bullseyes to Badguys conduct these courses monthly. However, now they are offering the Enhanced CPL course for free to a different audience--teachers--in hopes that a tweaked version of Michigan Senate Bill 59 is signed by Governor Snyder.
"I saw it as an opportunity to arm our teachers should they want to. There are many of them that have attended in the past. They're willing, but they are just not allowed," said Anthony Erickson, NRA instructor.
Senate Bill 59 was vetoed by Governor Snyder earlier this month. It would allow people to carry a concealed pistol in pistol-free zones like schools, churches, and arenas. To get the license, people would have to take the enhanced course with nine hours of additional training and pass an extensive background check.
"You should be safe at church, you should be safe at school, just as safe as you are at home. I think that law should be passed, and you should be able to protect your students and your loved ones," said Jerri Applin, participant.
State Senator Tom Casperson was at the training. He voted "yes" on the bill and will do so again.
"It's my understanding that Senator Green is going to reintroduce, maybe tweak it a little, to offset some of the concerns the governor has, and we are going to run this thing through again," said Senator Casperson.
The Enhanced CPL course focuses on sharpening a person's shooting skills, using fast-paced and complex techniques, getting people ready for high-pressure situations.
They're hoping teachers and school staff take the CPL course to be prepared by the time the bill passes.