Certified firearms instructor offers to teach administrators how to use guns

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

In the wake of the school tragedy in Newtown, Conn., one man is stepping up to teach administrators how to protect their students.

Guy Relford is an attorney, a certified fire arms instructor with the National Rifle Association and is the owner of Tactical Firearms Inc. and he says he has one solution that can help save lives at Indiana schools.

“The one thing that I realized that I can do and that I’m empowered to do is to help train folks that in that five to seven minutes that it takes for law enforcement to show up and start protecting kids at that school, and the people at that school have the ability to protect themselves in that time frame,” said Relford.

There is a law already on the books in Indiana that allows a person employed or authorized by a school district to act as a security guard to possess a firearm on school property.

Relford said that includes administrators and teachers. They could be allowed to possess firearms on school property, if their school board members approve them to do so.

“If a school system decides that it wants to go down this road, I’m offering free training for anyone that can show me a valid license to carry a handgun from Indiana and written authorization from their school board that allows them to possess a gun on school property.”

Relford believes this is an option school districts should take a hard look at.

Nate Schnellenberger is the President of the Indiana State Teachers Association which represents more than 40,000 educators and teachers statewide.

“I’ve heard teachers who’ve said, ‘Give me a gun and let me defend myself and my students,’ and I’ve also heard teachers say, ‘No way should that be a responsibility of a teacher and that there are other ways to deal with that security issue.’

“What I hope doesn’t happen is a political knee jerk reaction to this. I hope that all of the issues are discussed and talked about. And that when we start thinking of potential solutions, we look at the unintended effects or consequences those solutions may have down the road,” said Schnellenberger.

Schnellenberger says the ISTA has no official position on the issue, only saying that it should be up to the local school board and not mandated by the state.

“Things are changing and I think we have to be willing to listen and change as the times dictate,” said Schnellenberger.

Folks Fox spoke with said there are no easy solutions to the complicated issue on how to best protect our children at school.

“That’s such a tough call and I don’t know what the right answer is, sure I would love to have the right person with the right training have access to protect those kids, but there’s so many things that could go wrong when its available,” said Brittany Vollmar of Indianapolis.

Parent, Antonio Lowery believes security should be left in the hands of those who have only one job at school.

“We need more professional officers in the schools. Better safety through officers not through the teachers or the principals, that’s not a good idea.”

Several states are looking into legislation that would allow teachers and staff to carry firearms.  Several school districts around the nation already allow teachers and staff to posses firearms on school property.


  • Craig Robinson

    This is a terrible idea. Me being a husband of a teacher And a father of an eight grade son, i can say that if this happen my wife will no longer teach and my son will be pulled out of school and home schooled. Teachers have too much to deal with as it is . What would keep a group of students from taking a gun from a teacher, or a teacher that “snaps” from doing something horrible? Why add guns to a school when that is the thing that you are trying to keep out of the schools? Doesn’t make sense to me.

    • geta2j

      In Sandy Hook as with most mass killings, the crazed murderer was stopped by first responders arriving. How many innocent children could have been saved if that first responder was an armed security guard at the front door? Many school corporations are strapped for cash and would have to cut acedemic programs to pay for full time security, so a perfect option is to ask for volunteers who would pass background checks, marksmanship trials, and crisi management training. Standard practice drills for violent encounters just like fire drill sor tornado drill sso that every one knows just what to do. Asking to remove guns from schools has historically proven itself to be the WRONG way to approach the problem. Facts and history are great indicators but only if we are open to learning from them.

    • John Browning

      A school in TX has been allowing teachers to carry firearms for 5 years now. Nobody knows which teachers have them, only the school board and the superintendent. Nothing bad has happened.

      What would keep a group of students from taking a gun from a teacher? Next time you see a police officer, go take his weapon away and see how well that ends for you. Regardless of that argument, how can a gun be taken away from a teacher when nobody knows they have one?

      My wife is also a teacher and she has been well trained in the defensive use of a pistol. She carries a pistol when she is not at school and nobody knows about it (not even extended family). A holstered modern gun CANNOT fire. It must be removed from the holster and the trigger depressed. So having a holstered firearm under your clothes does not present any danger to the students. In the case of a mass shooting, honestly even if the teacher has little to no training (obviously I think they should get training), the situation can't get any worse. Currently the lockdown drills include herding the children into the corner of the room and hoping you don't get slaughtered. I would prefer the teacher to be able to stand in front of those children with a gun pointed at the door.

    • John Browning

      Obviously locked glass doors, friendly receptionists, and a piece of paper at the state house hasn't kept guns out of schools very well has it?

      Our goal shouldn't be to keep guns out of schools, it should be to keep our children safe. Advertising schools as a place full of defenseless people will ALWAYS make them a target. Are you volunteering to put up a big "NO GUNS" sign in your front yard? Would putting up such a sign make you feel uncomfortable?

      If you are worried that your child's teacher might "snap" and murder your child, you probably shouldn't be sending your child to school regardless of whether the teacher had a gun or not. Seriously?

    • Dillon

      My first response to the shooting was that someone in a school needs to be allowed to possess a firearm-Such as if the principle had a gun, she could've shot the wacko…But in the same breath I thought exactly what you do…What happens when a teacher/administrator snaps or a student steals the gun. I do think that professional security at school would be great but with budget cuts and stuff that isn't likely.

  • Shawn F

    Thanks, but no thanks. Teachers teach, security guards secure…my dad is a teacher and, along with many in his school system, will be walking out the door if this happens. Agreed, terrible idea!!!

    • John Browning

      Good, less liberal pansy teachers indoctrinating our children to think that all weapons are taboo.

      Currently your dad's plan is to hide in the corner of the room and pray he doesn't get slaughtered (are they allowed to pray for that in school?). I would prefer my children's teacher (and my wife who is a teacher) be able to stand in front of the children who are herded into the corner of the room and keep a gun pointed at the door. When someone kicks in the door to murder them all, do you really think the teacher being armed is going to make the situation worse? Everyone in the room is already going to die.

    • HistoryProfessional

      so are you willing to pay for the salaries or raised taxes for the security? You do realize you shop with people who are carrying, you eat ouy on Friday night there are citizens carrying, in most places, and believe it or not, ALOT of teachers. So, essentuially, you are for more dead kids.

  • Michael

    You assume that the gun must sit on the teachers hip for a student to grab… This isn't the wild west where its a quick draw contest. The gun can be locked away and should a situation arrive, the teacher can respond by unlocking the weapon and deploying it.

    I hear so man people say "ban guns"… but that is so unrealistic at this point. 300million guns in America… they aren't going to just disappear. Had 2-3 teachers in Connecticut been armed… 20 children would likely still be alive. They could have responded and cut this guy off as he left the office. That would have bought time for the police to arrive at the very least.

    1974 in Israel there was a mass shooting in a school… they implemented this strategy there and to this day there has yet to be even 1 successful mass killing in a school!!!! That is proven results.

    Banning semi-automatic weapons is not only unrealistic, its pointless…. A mass murderer isn't going to worry about weather or not his weapon of choice is on a ban list, but he might stop picking schools if they are no longer easy targets.

    If people would stop and give some open thought to this situation… they would quickly discover that the safest, most economical, most realistic and probably the most effective option in protecting our children from Mass Murders doesn't involve removing guns from society… but rather putting guns in the hands of trained individuals.

    -Putting a cop in every school is extremely costly to an already way over budget government
    -Banning assault weapons and high capacity magazines is pointless and does very little to lessen the potential for similar crimes. Its nothing but an un-thought out emotional response… guns are already illegal on school property. And going door to door to take guns is an unconstitutional suicide mission… not gonna happen.
    -Arming and training VOLUNTEER TEACHERS = cost effective, logical and practical

    • John Browning

      They can still have it on their person and not have it hanging on their hip. My wife and I (she is a teacher) carry firearms and nobody knows it is there. It is in a holster specially designed to remain concealed under your clothing. A holstered gun cannot fire and presents no danger to anyone. The only thing teachers need to do is leave it in the holster unless they need it to defend themselves and their students. If that time comes, the situation can't get any worse.

    • Brenda

      you do realize that if someone came into the school with a assault weapon that a little revolver would do nothing against it…..right? first by the time someone would get the gun up to shoot it that person would be dead…I have to laugh because they said if that principal would have had a gun in desk she could have saved those kids…first she wasn't at her desk she was in a meeting room, she would never had time to take the safety off and point and shoot… really? Teachers teach not kill people….we have trained people called police officers to do that…it is not that easy for people to shoot people, that is a mental health issue after you kill people….there is a lot more to killing than shooting a firearm. I wish that would be brought up…

  • Jacob S

    Ind. Code 35-47-9-1(2) allows any person employed or authorized by a school to act as a security guard to also carry a firearm on school property. That may include teachers or any other persons properly authorized by the school to possess a firearm. As our way of contributing to the effort to prevent another horrific tragedy like Sandy Hook Elementary School, Tactical Firearms Training now makes the following offer: Any person who presents a valid Indiana License to Carry Handgun and a written authorization to carry a firearm on school property may take NRA Basic Pistol, Personal Protection Outside the Home and Comprehensive Indiana Gun Law at no charge. That is $850 in training free.

    Let's stop talking about protecting kids and start protecting kids.

    Tactical Firearms Training, LLC http://www.tactical-firearms.com http://www.facebook.com/TFT.Indy

  • Jacob S

    Many schools have armed School Resource Officers *county deputies*, what is to prevent a student from taking their weapon? What is to prevent them from "snapping" and shooting the students?
    Teachers should be armed to protect the students.
    Nobody will require them to be armed.
    The ones that wish to be armed, can be.
    Many teachers already hold handgun licenses, they are just not allowed to bring the gun on school property.
    Criminals don't care about gun free zones.
    No guns on school property, means unarmed helpless civilians will be slaughtered
    Gun control only takes guns away from law abiding citizens.
    Criminals don't care about gun control, they are criminals!

  • Craig Robinson

    This argument will go forever. There is no good solution. If someone says there needs to be gun control, everyone thinks that that means ban guns altogether, and then you have the people that say everyone needs a gun. Something happens in a school, teachers need to have guns, does that mean since the shooting in Aurora was in a movie theatre, everyone who buys a ticket to the show gets a gun? Until there is some give and take there will be no changes. Which is sad for America .

    • Michael

      In Aurora… the guy chose the ONLY theater within 20 minutes of his house that was a "gun free zone".

      It wasn't the closest theater… it wasn't the largest theater…. it was the "gun free theater".

      Food for thought

    • Brenda

      again I will say this….DO NOT BAN GUNS………WE NEED GUN SAFETY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! What do people not understand about this???????? does the NRA have everyone so scared ? Women have a constitutional right to a safe and legal abortion but they are taking that away where are all the gun right people screaming about taking rights away? It can't be all about rights…….oh it's just about your rights, everyone else can take a hike….no one wants to take away your rights to guns…what they want is safety and IDEAS how to do it without killing more people……this isn't about my guns is bigger than yours then we have become a 3rd world country….

  • SaveOurKids

    This is a very generous offer! He is not saying that all teachers need to be trained and carrying a gun in school, not everyone has the proper mindset. He's offering training to a teacher or someone the school designates officially that already has a license to carry handgun issued by the state of Indiana.

    This means a school could designate someone who volunteers and they get free firearms, safety and even better, the complete rules of Indiana gun laws. Mr Relford is not only a fine instructor, he's one of the states top firearms lawyers.

    • Brenda

      what do people not understand about this… there is more to having a gun and shooting it…it is the after math that every person goes through after you shoot and or kill someone… that is a huge burden to hold no matter what the circumstance is….even someone who shoots a person as they break into your house, yes you have that right and no doubt you would and can take that shot. But what happens after? Ask a police officer sometime they go through therapy and debriefing and then they still might never be the same…ya you can press trigger and kill someone for a great reason. But should teachers be put into the situation, after the end of the day they want to be teachers not killers…

  • Dee Bennett

    Guy, what a generous offer! I think that is an awesome idea! If I can be of any assistance to you in this, It would be my pleasure ! It would make our schools a much safer place if teachers and administrators at least had the option to carry along with the training. Actually I think all business professionals should be given the option!
    Thank You!

  • unknown

    I think that is a great idea.. And if people have a problem with teachers having the guns, why not train the janitors.. I being a janitor for almost 5 years know that they are the last to leave the school during a fire, a bomb threat and are the last in the hallway if there is a lock down… So train them to carry the guns then you will stop having to pay the police to do it.. There are at least two Janitors on Day shift when the students are in school, at least 4 on nights after school is over during games and such, and one on thirds.. That is how it is at the school I worked at….. I also think that if it is a state law that allows them to have a fire arm on school property it should be allowed…. Do your research and see how many people die in a gun free zone like schools and schools where they are allowed … A lot of lives would be saved.. Besides that I can use a pen or a pencil to kill some one. Guns do not kill people, people kill people, and people are going to be less inclined to go on a shooting rampage if it isn't a gun free zone….

  • RedStateVet

    Finally! A "Gun Control" proposal that makes sense. I we can get this common sense proposal enacted, then maybe can look at reducing the number of "Gun Free" zones (also known as "Free Fire "or "Killing" zones).

    Gun laws do not work.

  • John Browning

    10% of Hoosiers have a license to carry a handgun. You run into people every day who are carrying a firearm. You never notice, nor do they cause any trouble. A school in TX has been allowing teachers to carry concealed firearms for 5 years now and nobody knows who has one except the school board and the superintendent.

    This is the ONLY solution. Locked glass doors and unarmed receptionists have proven they can't stop a psychopath who wants to murder children. Connecticut already HAS an "assault weapon" ban! The psycho in VT murdered dozens of people with nothing but a couple pistols (one of them a .22 that doesn't work half the time). Any other proposed solution is simply playing the odds that it won't happen to you. We could turn our schools into prisons, but I doubt anyone wants that. Allowing teachers who demonstrate proficiency to carry concealed firearms poses no threat to anyone and doesn't change the atmosphere of the school. Nobody knows they are there.

    Our politicians are all guarded by men with guns. Then they insist our children should not only be defenseless, but advertise the fact by making schools "gun free zones". Hasn't anyone noticed that every single mass shooting has occurred in a gun free zone?

    Thank you Guy for offering this!

    • Brenda

      just to let you know ALL people have the ability to lose it at any given time for any given reason,, could be for spouse cheating on them, financially, depression never been detected before, alcohol,anything…so if they have gun ? then what? We don't KNOW who could be the next person, they could be in the school already! If there are no guns then they couldn't do anything really bad… but if they have access to a gun then what?
      We are just giving more chances for anyone to kill someone…what is so HARD to understand about this? People that are having issues with mental illness don't have a sign on there heads! It could be YOU next time.
      When this does happen they normally kill themselves but they will take others with them….
      I think everyone needs to understand mental illness better then carrying more guns…

  • John Browning

    A question for those who oppose schools letting trained teachers to carry concealed firearms:

    Would you be willing to put up a big "NO GUNS" sign in your front yard declaring that you have no guns? Would you publicly announce what your address is and tell everyone that you don't have any guns?

    My guess is most of you would NOT be willing to announce to the world where you live and let everyone know that you don't have any guns. So why is it OK to make schools do it?

    I know that my local elementary school doesn't have any armed security. They have locked GLASS doors and a friendly receptionist who asks for ID. With nothing more than a pistol with "standard" size magazines (which the Supreme Court very clearly protected in Heller vs D.C.) I could easily enter the school and murder dozens of people before police arrive. If I planned my attack to happen during specific times of the day, I could get even more people. The only thing stopping me is my moral values. Luckily MOST people are GOOD people. Heck, you don't even have to be a good person, I know complete *** ******s who still wouldn't murder someone. But we still have an occasional psychopath who does something terrible. Stop making schools the best place for them and give schools a way to protect MY CHILDREN!

    • Brenda

      you know what your right, but we cannot have armed guard at every public place in this Country then we become a 3rd world country and we have lost what makes this country great,
      What we need is to educate our kids and people that guns are for protecting oneself at HOME and for hunting, that is what I was taught…. now we teach our kids that we need guns everywhere and at all times… Why? that is the question?
      We have gone off the deep end with guns…we have taken them out of homes into public places and the more that happens the more scared we get it's a vicious circle and it just keeps getting worse….I look at it like domestic abuse it continues onto the next generation and the next till the cycle is broken which is the hardest thing to do… but someone has to stop the violence….it has to stop….or it will spin out of control……then we are not a civilized society anymore….people shoot people now just because they have there music to loud…..come on!!!!

  • Doug W

    interesting that people seem to think all law enforcement people are absolute crack shots.

    They are not.

    After participating in a number of IDPA (International Defensive Pistol Association) competitions with attending law enforcement officers it became clear most of them are mediocre at best. Some are an outright danger. These guys are real full of themselves when they show up the first time. After seeing what their average civilian can do they tend to slink away quietly. The smart ones persevere swallow their pride and improve themselves by returning again and again. The dumb ones run and don't come back. God help them when they need to defend themselves or others.

    Lots of agencies only require a twice annual certification requiring no more than 50 rounds fired from a standing position. Having to shoot from around a corner, on your knees, weak handed isn't even considered.

    I'd put most people I know that shoot regularly up against 75% of law enforcement officers in an IDPA competition.

    • Doug W

      So actually, having more law enforcement people in schools carrying guns probably isn't the best solution. Though it would certainly be better than the fish in a barrel situation we have now.

    • John Browning

      I absolutely agree! It depends on where the LEOs are from though. There are some places (usually rural sadly) where the LEOs are REALLY into shooting and are incredible. Then you get urban places where many of them its simply one of those things you gotta do the bare minimum to keep your job.

      Overall, I think you are right. I would bet money that I could beat 75% of LE in Indiana.

      • guest

        I met a LEO that told me he was dreading having to requalify. He said that was the hardest part of his training at the academy. Just because someone is a LEO does not mean I want to put my life in their hands, I would like the ability to defend myself and my family

    • John Browning

      I need to look up the statistics, but hit rates for LEOs is SIGNIFICANTLY lower than regular people involved in defensive shootings.

    • Brenda

      I guess we don't need law enforcement anymore, we just call our neighbors, of course that is if we don't want to have a gun….hopefully they will wakeup in time to save me……. or help me….or well I will be dead anyway…just like the old west days..just come over to bury me… how stupid is that!!!!!!

  • 'Thor'

    This is a good "common sense" approach that is completely lost to liberals. No matter how many laws are passed evil people are out there and the only way to deal with a bad guy with a gun is for a good guy to have a gun.This has worked perfectly in Texas and other places that follow this "common sense approach. BTW, the percent of people in Indiana LTCH is a lot more than 10%.

  • Brenda

    well I guess liberals have more common sense…..we can do math, more shootings because there are more guns………there has always been mentally ill people…but the guns weren't there for them to use.. I had an uncle that committed suicide by hanging himself because he didn't have a gun!!!! Stuff like that happened…..but when guns are easy to obtain the dynamics change…there were guns in our house and when my mom died I wanted to commit suicide and almost did…because that gun was available to me…i do NOT want GUN CONTROL, I would like to see GUN SAFETY…. AND I WOULD LOVE TO SEE EVERYONE COME TOGETHER AS A NATION TO GET THIS DONE………….

  • Mark

    Incredible offer – teachers and faculty that have a license to carry should seriously consider it. Once properly trained, they would indeed be able to react to a very bad situation and at least have a good chance of neutralizing the situation. If my son were still in school I'd definitley feel better knowing someone was there, ready and capable of saving my son's life in the unlikely event it were necessary.

Comments are closed.