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Post-Sandy Hook, South Dakota and Georgia move to protect schools with guns

As the gun-control debate continues, Georgia, South Dakota, Colorado, and New York have emerged as bellwethers on how the nation is beginning to stand up to gun violence.

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Colorado State Sen. Greg Brophy speaks about his concern that new gun laws would hurt the local economy, during debate on gun control bills before the Colorado legislature. Democrats are on the cusp of advancing gun-control proposals in a state balancing a history of heartbreaking shootings with a Western heritage in which gun ownership is treasured by many.

Brennan Linsley/AP

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As the post-Sandy Hook gun-control debate continues, states such as Georgia, South Dakota, Colorado, and New York have emerged as bellwethers on how the nation is beginning to stand up to gun violence.

A day after the Georgia legislature ended bans on guns in bars, churches, and college classrooms, South Dakota passed the first law in the United States aimed expressly at allowing school districts to arm teachers.

Guns are not outlawed in schools in 18 states and some school districts do have some armed teachers, but the vast majority of districts have not supported teacher-carry to this point.

The extent to which South Dakota teachers take advantage of what will become a tough new licensing program is unclear. And the issue is electrified by politics, as over a thousand gun laws, divided between expansion and contraction of gun laws, have emerged in state houses across the country since the massacre of 20 children and six staff at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., on Dec. 14.

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