Chicago area teachers receive gun training, free of charge

Local teachers are taking gun safety training into their own hands.

Recent school shootings are making more and more people in the classroom on edge and one Crystal Lake gun range decided to do something about it, offering training for school employees - free of charge.

Brian Pacheco says he's spending two days of his spring break at "On Target" gun range, learning the rules of gun safety and gun shooting. He's part of a pilot program that lets school employees learn the ropes of gun ownership for free, and it started after a continued call to arm teachers in schools after shootings in Parkland and Maryland. 

Tom Dorsch is the Director of Operations at "On Target". He hopes these educators leave the range knowing two things about gun ownership. 

“Humility and responsibility. The awesome responsibility it takes to be a permit owner, and the humility to know what that gun is possible of doing,” he said.

A responsibility Pacheco doesn't take lightly. 

“I'm there to teach, I'm also there to make sure they are safe,” he said.

But some say arming teachers sends the wrong message.

Mark Hamstra is an educator and former Army vet who spoke on 'Good Day Chicago' Wednesday morning and he talked about the importance of trust between students and staff.

“We want them walking into school, we want to show them we're assuming the best in them, not the worst… and you have to take practical steps to show our students that we do trust them,” he said.

Still, if the time comes where teachers can carry on-campus, Pacheco says, “I want to make sure I'm prepared to make a good decision on that.”

“On Target” offers concealed carry classes about four times a month.

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