Local gun range sees influx of school staff members signing up for active shooter course

A Place to Shoot certifies school staff to carry guns

SAN ANTONIO – A local gun range is seeing an increase in business from surrounding school districts after the Santa Fe High School shooting.

The increase also comes after Gov. Greg Abbott announced his school safety plan, which allocates funds to cover the controversial topic of arming teachers and school staff.

Read Governor Abbott’s School and Firearm Safety Action Plan

Johnny Castro, the manager at A Place to Shoot, said he's seeing more schools look into training employees on how to respond to active shooters. The course he teaches is certified and sanctioned by the Texas Department of Public Safety.

“I’m probably working with about seven to eight schools on a factual level,” Castro said.

The schools are new clients Castro says he's gained since the recent Santa Fe school shooting. He said the 20-hour active shooter training course is designed to help school staff members save lives by protecting the school if needed.

“It doesn't change the scope of what the teacher is supposed to be initially doing, so the teacher is not tasked to become a law enforcement officer,” Castro said.

Certified school safety responders who pass the active shooter course are able to have their firearms with them during school hours if the school participates in the program. In order to pass, one needs to be able to hit a small target area with 90 percent proficiency.

READ MORE: Gov. Greg Abbott announces school safety plan and proposed changes to gun laws after Santa Fe school shooting

A similar DPS-sanctioned program allows staff members to be trained to become school marshals.

School marshals must leave their firearms in a secure locked location. Abbott is hoping to revamp that program to streamline better defense against active shooters, but in the meantime, Castro is hoping to train as many school faculty members the way he knows how.

“I have grandchildren that go to school. I want them to be safe just like every other parent wants their children to be safe,” Castro said.

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