More than 500 Colorado teachers — two-thirds of them women — flocked to a free concealed carry class on Saturday, KMGH-TV reported.
The class was aimed at making schools safer, but most of the teachers won't be able to put their training to use in the classroom, because Colorado schools are "gun-free" zones.
"It's very disheartening to take all of the steps up to but then not be able to actually protect myself the way I want to," first-grade teacher Samantha Schuller told KMGH.
Organized by the Centennial Gun Club, Saturday's class was meant to arm teachers against the "ongoing epidemic of school shootings and other illegal gun violence perpetrated in gun-free zones throughout the United States," the gun club told KMGH.
Schuller knows about those situations firsthand — she was a sophomore at Platte Canyon High School in 2006 when she and several other students were held hostage by a gunman — and decided to attend the Saturday training to improve her ability to defend herself.
"I've reached a point in my life where I want to feel like I can protect myself and I don't have to be a victim anymore," she said.
As USAToday reported in an investigation into guns in schools, 28 states allow license-carrying adults to bring guns onto public school grounds.
The National Parent Teacher Association reluctantly endorsed armed law enforcement in schools following the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in 2012.
"As a result of the tragedy and proposals, National PTA amended its position statement to add that the association defers to local collaborative decision making to allow for the presence of armed law enforcement only," Heidi May, National PTA media relations manager, told USAToday. "The preference of the association, however, is for schools to be gun-free."
Proponents of letting teachers carry guns might point to Colorado's neighbor, Utah, where in the 10 years since public school teachers were first allowed to carry firearms on school grounds, there have been zero fatal k-12 shooting, NBC reported.
But for now in Colorado, as state sen. Ted Harvey affirmed to KMGH, teachers may be flocking to concealed carry training courses, but they won't be able to bring their firearms to bear on potential shooters inside their schools.
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