Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst jumped head first into the guns in schools debate, Friday.  Speaking at a Texas Public Policy Foundation event, Dewhurst called for expanded firearms training for teachers and administrators.

Dewhurst said the training would extend beyond the traditional requirements for a concealed handgun license. 

“If there’s going to be and increase in people carrying handguns in public schools,” Dewhurst said. “The state should pay for robust training for those personnel that are authorized by the school boards to carry concealed weapons in the schools so that they can protect themselves and protect the children.”

Under state law, it is up to individual school districts to decide if staff members can carry concealed weapons on campus.  Dewhurst said this program would not change that law and school districts would not be required to participate. 

He didn’t offer any details about where that funding would come from. 

UPDATE: Dewhurst released this statement, following his remarks at the TPPF luncheon, announcing that Senators Dan Patrick and Craig Estes would hold a hearing on school safety.

 “With the increased violence we’ve seen in public schools in recent years, we must do everything we can to protect the safety and well-being of our most precious possession – our children.  I’m asking the Texas Senate to consider various school safety proposals, including providing state funds to make sure that school personnel approved by local school districts to carry concealed firearms have adequate training to protect our children and themselves.  I have asked Senator Patrick, Chairman of the Senate Education Committee, to hold a hearing on school safety, and I have asked Senator Estes, Chairman of the Committee that oversees Homeland Security, to recommend additional ways to prevent heinous acts of violence against our children.”