A South Carolina state representative is giving away three handguns to teachers in the aftermath of the school shooting in Parkland, Florida, that killed 17 people.
South Carolina state Rep. Steven Long, a Republican who represents the Spartanburg and Boiling Springs areas, announced Monday morning that he is hosting a drawing to give away guns to teachers and show support for pro-Second Amendment legislation in the state House of Representatives.
A news release on Long’s website says that the representative will be giving away three handguns: “one to a K-12 teacher, school staff member, or school administrator; one to a higher education (college/university) faculty, staff member, or administrator; and one to any freedom-loving patriot who wishes to participate in the drawing.”
The teachers will also be given a gift certificate to attend a class to earn a concealed weapons permit.
“We must do everything we can to ensure the safety of children in schools, both K-12 and our higher education institutions. Allowing teachers or school staff members to carry is the most efficient and most effective way to do this,” Long said. “By allowing trained adults to defend the students, we will send the message to those deranged psychotic degenerates that children are our top priority and we will protect them.”
The guns Long is giving away are Smith & Wesson M&P Shield 9mm handguns.
There is no cost to enter the drawing, but Long said a donation page has been set up to cover the cost of holding the drawing. Any money raised in excess of what is needed to cover the cost of the giveaway will be donated to South Carolina Carry, an organization that promotes pro-Second Amendment policies and firearms education, the release states.
President Donald Trump has been vocal about his support for the controversial idea of arming school teachers, indicating that aspects of such a proposal could be “up to states.”
“Armed Educators (and trusted people who work within a school) love our students and will protect them,” Trump tweeted Saturday. “Very smart people. Must be firearms adept & have annual training. Should get yearly bonus. Shootings will not happen again - a big & very inexpensive deterrent. Up to States.”
South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster has echoed the sentiments expressed by Trump, saying he will sign a bill allowing Palmetto State teachers to be armed.
“If it comes to my desk, I will sign it,” the governor said Thursday.