Romney says decision to arm teachers should be left to individual states (with video)

Utah Republican Senate candidate Mitt Romney says individual states should lead the way on a response to the deadly school shooting in Florida that left 17 people dead.

“The real issue is broader than gun control,” said Romney on Tuesday. “It’s how we do we make sure kids are safe in their schools. There are a whole host of things I think we have to look at to be able to provide that safety.”

Romney said there are many things that should be looked at to help prevent future school shootings, including securing school buildings, better training for first responders and how authorities deal with people who might be a threat to others.

But, he says states, not the federal government, are the best ones to handle this problem.

“States tend to work more quickly and are able to get more input from citizens. And, frankly, the interests of the people of Utah are going to be different than the people in New York State or Wisconsin,” he said. “I’m looking forward to this effort, but we’re not going to find a solution overnight.”

Romney danced around a question about arming teachers as a way to protect schoolchildren, which has been suggested by some.

“That’s something the legislature will deal with. But, I think the widest array of options has to be considered and evaluated. I do know that in our state, some teachers have concealed carry permits and are able to provide security for their classrooms. Whether we expand that or leave it as it is will be something the legislature will consider.”

Romney visited with Republican legislators on Utah’s Capitol Hill Tuesday. When asked about a controversial bylaw passed by the Utah GOP State Central Committee on Saturday, which blocks candidates in CD1 and CD2 from gathering signatures to get on the ballot, Romney refused to get involved in the issue.

“As someone who is kind of biased on this topic as a candidate, I’m not going to get involved. I’m going to focus on my race, gather signatures and get the support I would need to be successful in the caucuses and convention.”