The Arizona Senate approved a bill Monday allowing designated teachers, administrators or other employees in rural schools carry handguns.
The bill approved on 17-11 party-line vote also allows retired police officers working in any school in the state carry a gun and now goes to the House.
Republican Sen. Rich Crandall's bill is the least sweeping of several legislative proposals to arm teachers and the one that appears most likely to become law. It applies only to rural schools with 600 students or fewer at least 20 miles and 30 minutes from the nearest police station and that don't have school resource officers.
Democrats say only fully trained police officers should have guns on campuses, and they want more comprehensive solutions, such as more counselors and mental health treatment.