A House committee on Thursday approved a bill that allows the state’s teachers to carry firearms in class.

In accordance with the bill, teachers who voluntarily arm themselves for school would be required to undergo 144 hours of firearms training, possess a valid concealed weapon permit and pass a psychological evaluation and drug test. Local school boards will have to give their approval before teachers in their districts can participate.

“If a teacher does not want to go through the program, I don’t want them to go through the program,” says Representative Jennifer Sullivan, who sponsored the bill. “The more people that are there to defend students, to defend other teachers, the better.”

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