In the weeks following the Sandy Hook massacre, a number of state lawmakers' proposals to fight school gun violence by arming teachers have been met with staunch opposition. But what many don't realize is that more than one-third of all states already allow teachers and adults to carry guns on school grounds.
Across the country, 18 states allow adults to carry a loaded gun on school grounds, generally provided that they have written permission from a principal or the school board, NBC News reports. The laws don't necessarily specify exact reasons for giving teachers or adults the authorization to carry, but some do also include provisions for permissible activities like safety demonstrations or ceremonies.
But like one Utah educator who has expressed her newfound desire to carry a firearm at school, many are unaware of the state laws that have provisions permitting adults to carry on campus.
In an email obtained by Gawker, Oregon state Rep. Dennis Richardson (R) tells three superintendents that teachers should be allowed to carry guns on campus, and that armed teachers could have prevented the massacre in Connecticut.
Oregon school boards, however, are already allowed to authorize teachers and other adults to carry guns on school grounds.
And while teachers -- along with the nation's two largest teachers unions -- have generally come out against arming educators, one school in Texas has permitted concealed carry by teachers for years. The principal calls it "a policy that would protect."
Below, the 18 states that allow teachers or other adults to carry loaded firearms on school grounds: