A new Gallup poll shows that nearly three-quarters of U.S. school teachers oppose the idea of training certain teachers and staff to carry guns in school buildings. Nearly six in 10 teachers think it would make schools less safe, and about seven in 10 teachers think carrying guns would not effectively limit the number of victims in the event of a shooting.

For the most part, said Gallup, teachers across the country do not agree with the proposal, and they dispute two of the main reasons for arming teachers: that it would make schools safer and limit casualties during a shooting.

  • While 73% of teachers oppose special training to arm them in school, 20% strongly or somewhat favor it and 7% are neutral.

  • Likewise, while 58% of teachers think arming them and their colleagues would make schools less safe, 20% think it would make schools safer and 22% do not think it would make any difference.

  • Twenty-nine percent of teachers think that arming teachers would be very or somewhat effective in limiting the number of victims of a school shooting, while 71% say it would not be effective.

Recent Gallup research shows that 42% of Americans nationwide favor special training to arm teachers and school staff while other proposals, including background checks for all gun sales and better active shooter training for first responders, have nearly unanimous support from the public. Arming teachers was the only proposal tested that did not receive majority approval from the public.

One in Five U.S. Teachers Willing to Carry Gun in School

Gallup asked the teachers surveyed if they would be willing to go through special training, if their administration allowed it, so they could carry a gun in school buildings. Eighteen percent of teachers said they would apply for the training and 82% would not. One-quarter of all teachers said they currently own a gun, and they were four times as likely as those who do not to say they were willing to be trained to carry a gun in school.

Of the 18% of teachers who were willing to undergo special training to carry a gun at school, two-thirds are very confident that they would be able to effectively handle the gun in a live shooting situation and one-quarter are somewhat confident, presumably because they already own a gun.