South Dakota Gov. Dennis Daugaard (R) signed a bill into law on Friday that allows teachers to pack heat in classrooms, becoming the first state in the nation to do so.
Similar proposals have been considered in about two dozen states since the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre last December, according to The New York Times.
Despite Republicans' insistence that making firearms more available reduces crime, a study released Wednesday by Boston Children's Hospital, in collaboration with Harvard Medical School and Harvard School of Public Health, finds that states with more restrictive gun laws have the fewest deaths as a result of gun violence.
Critics of allowing teachers to carry weapons in schools point to instances like the suspension of a New York school security guard earlier this week, who was put on hold after his firearm accidentally discharged in a school hallway. School officials in Indiana also said this week that they were investigating a teacher who apparently threatened students with a note on a chalkboard warning that his guns are loaded.