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Betsy DeVos Thought a Wyoming School Kept a Gun on Hand for Grizzly Attacks

DeVos
WikiMedia Commons

Betsy DeVos says schools should decide weapons policies based on needs.

As Donald Trump gets set to enter the White House this week, his cabinet has been equally busy in Senate confirmation hearings.

Trump’s nominee for education secretary, Betsy DeVos, was questioned on the subject of guns in schools during her hearing. In laying out her stance on the issue, she made a pretty bizarre claim about a Wyoming school’s need for protection against grizzly bears.

Apparently, DeVos was told about a tiny rural Wyoming school by Wyoming Senator Mike Enzi. The tiny school is located in a tiny rural community east of Yellowstone National Park. “Well, well I would refer back to Senator Enzi and the school he was referring to in Wapiti, Wyoming, and that there is probably a gun in the school to protect from potential grizzlies,” DeVos told Connecticut Senator Chris Murphy.

You can see more of the exchange between DeVos and Murphy in the video below.

DeVos believes when it comes to firearms in schools, decisions should be made by local lawmakers based on where there might be need.

Although there are bears and even mountain lions running around Wapiti School, it seems that Park County School District No. 6, where Wapiti is located, doesn’t consider a firearm a need. In fact, there’s district policy against it.

“We do not allow weapons on school property,” Park County School District No. 6 superintendent Ray Schulte told reporters.

Not that the school in Wapiti is defenseless against dangerous wildlife. “They put up a wildlife fence about 10 to 15 years ago,” Schulte said.

In spite being known as a very pro-gun state, there’s another reason Wapiti couldn’t keep a gun in the building, even if they did change school policy. The entire state also has a federal no-weapons policy for elementary through high school campuses.

Coincidentally enough, DeVos’ bizarre claim comes right on the heels of a new bill being introduced that would open up concealed carry in more areas. Wyoming is a constitutional carry state, but concealed carry is not allowed on college and university campuses or at college sporting events.

House Bill 137 would open up those areas to concealed carry. The bill would also allow concealed carry at government meetings.

It will remain to be seen if gun-free zones are eliminated in many public schools around the nation under a Trump administration.

NEXT: WYOMING’S GUN CULTURE, A DIFFERENT SIDE OF THE GUN DEBATE

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Betsy DeVos Thought a Wyoming School Kept a Gun on Hand for Grizzly Attacks