WASHINGTON, March 8 (RIA Novosti) - South Dakota Governor Dennis Daugaard signed a controversial bill on Friday that allows school boards in the mostly rural US state to let school employees, hired security personnel or volunteers carry guns in schools, CNN reported.
Under the new law, which will come into effect on July 1, the school boards will be able to establish school sentinels programs “to secure or enhance the deterrence of physical threat and defense of the school, its students, its staff, and members of the public on the school premises against violent attack.”
All ‘sentinels’ will be required to pass a weapons training course similar to the one designed for South Dakota law enforcement officers.
The move comes in a wake of a brutal shooting at a school in Connecticut in December last year that left 20 young children and six adult staff dead.
It also reflects a deep divide between tough gun control advocates, including President Barack Obama, and gun rights supporters backed by the powerful the National Rifle Association.
Obama has recently called for a ban on military-style assault weapons, a limit on the number of magazine clips, and a comprehensive background check and database for all gun buyers in the nation.
The Second Amendment of the US Constitution guarantees American citizens the “right to bear arms.” But it is the historical and societal interpretation of those words that is at the heart of the impassioned debate about guns in the United States today.
Gun control advocates argue the US Founding Fathers who drafted the Constitution and other documents didn’t necessarily mean all citizens have the right to bear any kind of arms and access any amount of ammunition at any time and in any context.
Gun rights supporters say the president’s proposals are unconstitutional and a violation of citizens’ rights.