NORTH RICHLAND HILLS — Texas Gov. Rick Perry said Monday he supports letting local school districts decide whether letting teachers and administrators carry guns on campus is the best way to make schools safer.
Perry spoke to the Northeast Tarrant County Tea Party, addressing the massacre in Newtown, Connecticut which left 20 children and six adults dead inside their elementary school.
The governor called it an evil act.
"I hope everyone will reflect on how fleeting life can be," Perry said. "We have to do everything we can to make sure those types of evils are restricted the best they can be."
There will be plenty of time to have conversations about gun rights, but Perry stressed the need to look at how mental health patients are treated and cared for.
"One thing I hope I don't see is knee-jerk reaction from Washington, where they come in and think they know the answers," he said.
Perry drew a round of applause when he talked about Harrold, Texas, a community that lets teachers and administrators who are properly permitted and trained carry weapons on campus.
He said he believes local school districts should be afforded that right, and he supports expanding the places guns can be carried.
"In the state of Texas, if you go through the process, have been trained, and you are a handgun-licensed individual, you should be able to carry a gun anywhere in the state," Perry said.
He added that private property owners should make their own determinations.