In the media today, reports from the press are being seen in which President Donald Trump said "I never said to give teachers guns."

Given his bombastic personality, it doesn't seem outside the realm of possibility, but I'm skeptical whether or not at any point he actually said these words before his clarifying remarks made in the article.

His remarks:

"I never said 'give teachers guns' like was stated on Fake News @CNN & @NBC. What I said was to look at the possibility of giving 'concealed guns to gun adept teachers with military or special training experience — only the best," Trump tweeted.

"20% of teachers, a lot, would now be able to immediately fire back if a savage sicko came to a school with bad intentions. Highly trained teachers would also serve as a deterrent to the cowards that do this. Far more assets at much less cost than guards. A 'gun free' school is a magnet for bad people. ATTACKS WOULD END!"

This seems to suggest that at some point he made a mention that something he said could have been interpreted to mean arming teachers, but it seems that he feels those comments may be misconstrued.

Has Donald Trump ever said, either explicitly or in meaning, to arm teachers before his most recent comments?

  • I've seen an article suggesting that this is the speech he would have said that in: youtu.be/6GVISsXd9mU (not posting as answer because I'm not bothering to check it myself)
    – Ben Barden
    Commented Feb 22, 2018 at 16:28
  • He apparently did at least suggest broadly that if teachers had had weapons at the time the situation might have solved the problem. That's not quite the same as "saying to give teachers guns". It's not even saying to allow teachers to carry their own guns.
    – Ben Barden
    Commented Feb 22, 2018 at 16:30
  • @BenBarden That's the impression that I get as well, but I can't recall having heard whether or not he said that arming teachers (before the most recent time when he said he didn't say it) is the right way to go.
    – Anoplexian
    Commented Feb 22, 2018 at 16:32
  • His own clarification in the same tweet is: "What I said was to look at the possibility of giving 'concealed guns to gun adept teachers with military or special training experience — only the best." So, no, he said, "Look at the possibility" of arming teachers there. He has also tweeted, "“Highly trained, gun adept, teachers/coaches would solve the problem instantly, before police arrive." Again, he did not necessarily say "arm teachers" but I don't see what other reasonable conclusion you can draw from those statements. Summary [here](washingtonpost.com/news/post-politics/wp/2018
    – rougon
    Commented Feb 22, 2018 at 16:34

1 Answer 1


In a interview with Face the Nation on October 11, 2015.

DICKERSON: Would you advise -- in the context of current gun violence, would you advise people to get that?

TRUMP: Well, I'm a big Second Amendment person, big, as you probably know.

Like, I'm coming out with a book in another three or four weeks called "Crippled America," tough words, "Crippled America." I talk a lot about the Second Amendment in the book.

Had they had -- as an example, for the horrible thing that just took place, OK, horrible, in Oregon, had they -- had somebody in that room had a gun, the result would have been better.

DICKERSON: So, should people get armed the way you are?

TRUMP: Well, that's up to them.

But I will tell you, I feel much better be armed.

DICKERSON: What about teachers?

TRUMP: I think that if you had the teacher, assuming they knew how use a weapon, which hopefully they would, you would have been a lot better when this maniac walked into class starting to shoot people.

He waffled around the issue in May of 2016. First he wanted to eliminate all gun free zones. Then he proposed that some teachers should be armed.

He surely proposed the idea of arming teachers a meeting on Feb 21, 2018. Perhaps the point of contention is really if 20% of the teachers would be "combat" qualified. See the discussion on a YouTube video and at 51 minutes in another YouTube link.

This word for word transcript of part of the conversation that was reported by the Washington Post.

THE PRESIDENT: Well, thank you, too. And I will say, again, background checks are going to be very strong. We need that. And then after we do that, when we see there’s trouble, we have to nab them.

You know, years ago, we had mental hospitals — mental institutions. We had a lot of them, and a lot of them have closed. They’ve closed. Some people thought it was a stigma. Some people thought, frankly, it was a — the legislators thought it was too expensive.

Today, if you catch somebody, they don’t know what to do with them. He hasn’t committed the crime, but he may very well. And there’s no mental institution, there’s no place to bring them. And we have that a lot. Even if they caught this person — I’m being nice when I use the word “person” — they probably wouldn’t have known what to do. They’re not going to put them in jail. And yet — so there’s none of that middle ground of having that institution, where you had trained people that could handle it and do something about it and find out how sick he really is. Because he is a sick guy. And he should have been nabbed a number of times, frankly.

Your concept and your idea about — it’s called concealed carry — and it only works where you have people very adept at using firearms, of which you have many, and it would be teachers and coaches. If the coach had a firearm in his locker when he ran at this guy — that coach was very brave. Saved a lot of lives, I suspect. But if he had a firearm, he wouldn’t have had to run; he would have shot and that would have been the end of it.

And this would only be, obviously, for people that are very adept at handling a gun. And it would be — it’s called concealed carry, where a teacher would have a concealed gun on them. They’d go for special training. And they would be there, and you would no longer have a gun-free zone. A gun-free zone to a maniac — because they’re all cowards — a gun-free zone is, let’s go in and let’s attack, because bullets aren’t coming back at us.

And if you do this — and a lot of people are talking about it, and it’s certainly a point that we’ll discuss — but concealed carry for teachers and for people of talent — of that type of talent. So let’s say you had 20 percent of your teaching force, because that’s pretty much the number — and you said it — an attack has lasted, on average, about three minutes. It takes five to eight minutes for responders, for the police, to come in. So the attack is over. If you had a teacher with — who was adept at firearms, they could very well end the attack very quickly.

And the good thing about a suggestion like that — and we’re going to be looking at it very strongly, and I think a lot of people are going to be opposed to it; I think a lot of people are going to like it — but the good thing is that you’ll have a lot of people with that. You know, you can’t have a hundred security guards in Stoneman Douglas. That’s a big school. That’s a massive school with a lot of acreage to cover, a lot of floor area.

And so that would be, certainly, a situation that is being discussed a lot by a lot of people. You’d have a lot people that’d be armed. They’d be ready. They’re professionals. They may be Marines that left the Marines, left the Army, left the Air Force. And they’re very adept at doing that. You’d have a lot of them, and they’d be spread evenly throughout the school.

So the other thing — I really believe that if these cowards knew that the school was well-guarded, from the standpoint of having, pretty much, professionals with great training, I think they wouldn’t go into the school to start off with. I think it could very well solve your problem.

So we’ll be doing the background checks. We’ll be doing a lot of different things. But we’ll certainly be looking at ideas like that.

You know, a lot of people don’t understand that airline pilots now, a lot of them carry guns. And I have to say that things have changed a lot. People aren’t attacking the way they would routinely attack. And maybe you have the same situation in schools.

So does anybody like that idea here? Does anybody like it? Right? Yes. For Meadow — your beautiful Meadow. We talked about that.

And do people feel strongly against it? Anybody? Anybody? Strongly against it?

All right. I mean, I could — look, we can understand both sides. And certainly, it’s controversial. But we’ll study that along with many other ideas.

Anybody else something to say? Yes, go ahead.

  • 1
    All in all Trump seems to have fairly consistently proposed arming "trained" teachers. To me this is a sort of "grand appealing idea" lacking any clear implementation details and lacking any proof that it would work.
    – MaxW
    Commented Feb 25, 2018 at 17:24
  • I think this may be the most consistent idea Trump ever said out load.
    – SK19
    Commented Mar 16, 2018 at 9:25

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