A large majority of teachers in Connecticut don’t want educators to bring guns into schools and instead want the state to enact tougher gun laws, according to a study by the Connecticut Education Association that was released Monday.
The CEA’s poll of 400 of its members statewide also showed that teachers, by an overwhelming majority, want more state funding to improve security in schools, support broader background checks on gun buyers and support bans on assault weapons and on large-capacity gun magazines. The CEA survey comes at a time when state lawmakers are holding hearings on gun control issues in Hartford and on a day when there was particularly tense and emotional testimony on the issue, some of it from parents who lost small children in the shooting rampage at Sandy Hook Elementary School on Dec. 14.
"This is the first time teachers have been asked for their opinion in a comprehensive manner that is representative of educators' views across Connecticut," said CEA Executive Director Mark Waxenberg. "We want legislators to establish new and strengthened laws that protect the overall safety of children, schools, and our communities—including commonsense gun laws and funding to address safety issues in public schools."
The CEA survey findings show teachers overall support stronger gun safety laws and specific proposals to make communities safer:
- Almost all teachers surveyed (98 percent) favor extending criminal and mental health background checks for all gun purchases.
- A large majority (88 percent) support banning the sale and possession of military-style semi-automatic assault weapons to everyone, except the police and military.
- Most of those surveyed, (87 percent) also support banning the sale and possession of high-capacity magazine clips.
- A strong majority (85 percent) opposes any proposals allowing teachers to carry guns in schools.
- Nine out of ten members (92 percent) believe the state should provide funding to local public school districts to modernize facilities to address today's school safety issues.