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Border Patrol Records Another Record High of Apprehensions, Encounters at Southern Border in May

U.S. Customs and Border Patrol published official data Thursday for apprehensions and encounters May: the highest monthly total in recorded U.S. history of 239,416.

CBP published the data after The Center Square published preliminary numbers received from a Border Patrol agent.

Official numbers include both Border Patrol and Office of Field Operations data of people entering the U.S. illegally at all ports of entry.

Despite President Joe Biden, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas and CBP Chief Chris Magnus arguing that the border is closed, that Title 42 is being enforced, and that it is complying with the Remain in Mexico policy, more people entered the U.S. illegally in May 2022 than an any month recorded in U.S. history.

And the numbers are only going up.

In April, CBP reported 235,478 total encounters/apprehensions; in March, 222,239; in February, 165,902; in January, 154,816.

The last two months alone equals roughly the size of the population of Montana.

The southern border sectors that saw the most traffic last month, as in nearly all months, were in Texas in the Rio Grande Valley and Del Rio sectors.

The numbers are broken down by BP sector and categories, including apprehensions, turn backs, non-violations, outstanding, no-arrests, got aways (known/recorded), and deceased. Here are the numbers based on the preliminary data obtained by The Center Square.

RGV Sector

Apps - 46,527TBs - 4,284Got Aways (known/recorded) - 4,378Unresolved Detection - 133No Arrest - 2,887Deceased - 15Non-violation - 261Outstanding - 18

Del Rio Sector

Apps - 45,662TBs - 193Got Aways (known/recorded) - 15,006Unresolved Detection - 168No Arrest - 3,736Deceased -26Non-violation -176Outstanding -58

Yuma Sector

Apps - 36,568TBs - 204Got Aways (known/recorded) - 3,007Unresolved Detection - 20No Arrest - 62Deceased - 9Non-violation -54Outstanding - 63

El Paso Sector

Apps - 35,650TBs - 3,104Got Aways (known/recorded) - 9,856Unresolved Detection - 31No Arrest - 225Deceased -0Non-violation -104Outstanding -25

Tucson Sector

Apps - 27,554TBs - 995Got Aways (known/recorded) - 18,612Unresolved Detection - 1,655No Arrest - 3,344Deceased - 12Non-violation - 202Outstanding - 399

San Diego Sector

Apps - 17,797TBs - 756Got Aways (known/recorded) -5,437Unresolved Detection - 4No Arrest - 5,301Deceased - 1Non-violation - 7Outstanding - 150

Laredo Sector

Apps - 12,297TBs - 2,601Got Aways (known/recorded) - 3,113Unresolved Detection - 45No Arrest - 1,134Deceased - 11Non-violation - 246Outstanding - 0

El Centro Sector

Apps - 7,264TBs - 407Got Aways (known/recorded) - 679Unresolved Detection - 4No Arrest - 5Deceased - 0Non-violation - 2Outstanding - 5

Big Bend Sector

Apps - 3,309TBs - 54Got Aways (known/recorded) - 1,521Unresolved Detection - 41No Arrest - 184Deceased - 5Non-violation - 22Outstanding - 69

Apprehensions include those in the U.S. illegally who surrender or are caught by BP officers. Turn backs include those who entered illegally but returned to Mexico.

The categories of "no arrests" and "unresolved detection" aren’t part of 6 U.S. Code, which classifies how encounters are to be reported. These categories are used as a way to lower the number of got-aways being reported, the BP officer says.

No arrests mean someone “was detected in a non-border zone and their presence didn’t affect Got-Away statistics,” according to the official internal tracking system definition used by agents to record data. "Unresolved detection" means the same thing, but the officers, for a range of reasons, couldn’t determine citizenship.

Non-violations are “deemed to have committed no infraction and don’t affect Got-Away statistics,” according to the tracking system definition.

The categories of non-violations, no arrests and unresolved detection should actually be categorized as got-aways, the BP officer says, assuming all non-arrests were of non-citizens.

Preliminary data in other sectors show more than 1,600 people were apprehended in May, with Miami apprehending the most.

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Rebecca Kleefisch Slams Evers in Light of Emails Showing Union Influence on School Reopenings

(The Center Square) – There are new questions about who is running public schools in Wisconsin following the release of emails between Gov. Tony Evers and the state’s largest teachers’ union.

Empower Wisconsin on Wednesday broke a story showing the Wisconsin Education Association Council, or WEAC, was in regular contact with Gov. Evers’ office about the plan to reopen schools back in the summer of 2020.

“We at WEAC are getting pressure from the Senate Democrats to take a position on these bills from the School Administrators Alliance. We have been told the Senate Dems are working with the Governor’s office on a strategy relating to opening of schools,” wrote WEAC lobbyist Jack O’Meara in an August 21, 2020 email to Evers’ office.

The report doesn’t include Evers’ response, but the governor eventually told local schools to make their own decisions about reopening. WEAC encouraged local schools to stay closed in the fall of 2020.

Republican candidate for governor Rebecca Kleefisch on Wednesday ripped what she characterized as collusion between Evers and WEAC.

“Wisconsin needs a governor who spends time prioritizing kids and listening to parents, unlike Tony Evers who lets union bosses decide when to lock kids out of classrooms,” Kleefisch said in a statement.

Kleefisch, like the other two Republicans running for governor, have made it clear they support parental involvement in public school policies, and strongly support school choice for families across the state.

“Wisconsin parents deserve choices for their kids’ educations. We will no longer accept the backward one-size-fits-all educational monopoly that Evers and his union boss allies support,” Kleefisch added. “As governor, I will enact universal school choice and continue to support parents taking back control of their school boards.”

Wisconsin’s local-decision school reopening policy allowed some schools to open quickly in the 2020-2021 school year, and allowed others like Milwaukee and Madison schools to remain closed for the entire school year.

WILL Defends Kiel School Questions From Claims of Bullying

(The Center Square) – Asking questions is not bullying, and pointing out the law does not constitute creating chaos.

And no one supported the threats made against Kiel Schools.

Rick Esenberg with the Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty responded to claims that his group bullied Kiel school leaders over its misgendering investigation into three middle school boys, and unleashed a national campaign of chaos that led to a wave of threats against the school district.

“Putting aside the unresolved question of whether Title IX even covers gender identity or whether the First Amendment even permits such a charge to be based on the refusal to say what the government wants you to say, the mere use of disfavored pronouns does not create an environment ‘so severe, pervasive, and objectively offensive that it effectively denies a person equal access to education, which is a precondition to a charge of harassment under Title IX,” Esenberg wrote in a weekend op-ed at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

Esenberg responded to criticism from Journal Sentinel opinion columnist Kristen Brey who essentially blamed WILL for the threats and anger toward the school district.

“While Brey insinuates that there would have been no threats had we not ‘unleashed’ a national campaign (I wish we had that power to dictate what news organizations will cover), this is true only in the very quotidian sense that, if no one knew about what the district was doing, then no one would have done anything,” Esenberg wrote. “Unlike much of what is routinely reported, our public commentary was as accurate and complete as we could make it, was well within the bounds of civility, and carefully pointed out why we thought the district was legally wrong.”

Kiel Schools announced last week that it closed its investigation into the three boys, citing the threats to the school district and the community.

Kiel Schools, however, did not say what the investigation found or what happened to the three boys.

“Brey says it is ironic that we ‘use’ the chaos caused by whomever made these threats to ‘bully’ the school district in a dispute about bullying. I don’t know how to put this nicely. She’s making it up. We never used this ‘chaos’ to ‘bully’ anyone. In fact, we told the district that we did not expect it to change its position in light of threats,” Esenberg wrote at the end of his op-ed.

“But we could not stand down either – any more than the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel would cease reporting on allegations of, say, racism in a public school or any more than Brey would withdraw her less than fully-informed criticism of WILL.”

White House Faces Questions on Biden’s Mental Fitness, 2024 Reelection Plans

White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre dismissed concerns regarding President Joe Biden's possible reelection bid.

In an interview with CNN's Don Lemon late Monday, Jean-Pierre responded to a question concerning Biden's potential inability to run again in 2024.

"Does the President have the stamina, physically and mentally, do you think to continue on even after 2024?" Lemon asked.

"Don, you're asking me this question? Oh my gosh, he's the president of the United States," Jean-Pierre replied. "That is not a question that we should be even asking."

These comments come after a New York Times article reporting Democrats' hesitancy to endorse Biden, who is 79, for a 2024 run.

"That article that we're talking about is hearsay," Jean-Pierre said. "That's not what we care about; we care about how are we going to deliver for the American people, how are we going to make their lives better."

U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., declined to endorse Biden's potential running in 2024 during a different CNN interview.

"We'll cross that bridge when we come to it," Ocasio-Cortez said. "We'll take a look at it."

Biden's approval ratings also show Democrats' wavering support of the President. His approval rating sits at 41%, according to Reuters.

Specifically, voters claim that inflation is the most pressing issue, according to a poll by Quinnipiac University, with 64% disapproving of his handling of the economy.

When asked by a reporter on Monday about the issue of inflation, Jean-Pierre responded, "we know families are concerned about inflation and the stock market. That is something that the president is – is really aware of. And so, look, we face global challenges. We've talked about this. This is – we're not the only country dealing with what we're seeing at the moment as it relates to inflation."

Defending her previous statements on the matter, Jean-Pierre has come out saying that Biden does indeed plan to run in 2024 on her Twitter account.

"To be clear, as the president has said repeatedly, he plans to run in 2024," she said.

Gallup Says Democrats Face ‘Greater Than Average Loss of Seats’ in November

Newly released polling data shows that several key markers don't look good for Democrats, even as the Biden administration works overtime to rebuff criticism over soaring inflation and record high gas prices.

Gallup released its survey data Tuesday which reported that “the current Democratic congressional majority is facing an extremely unfavorable election environment.”

The party of the incumbent president traditionally loses seats in Congress during the midterm elections, as former Presidents Barack Obama and Donald Trump experienced.

That momentum, combined with President Joe Biden’s low approval rating and several other data markers, “predict a greater-than-average loss of seats for the Democratic Party this fall,” according to Gallup.

“Gallup's latest data, from a May 2-22 survey, finds 41% of Americans approving of the job President Joe Biden is doing, 18% approving of the job Congress is doing, 16% satisfied with the way things are going in the U.S., and a 32-percentage-point deficit in positive (14%) versus negative (46%) ratings of current economic conditions,” Gallup said. “Each of those metrics is at least 10 points lower than the historical average at the time of past midterm elections, and most are on pace to be the worst of such readings.”

The Federal Reserve is expected to raise interest rates this year, which has many economists fearing a recession could be on the horizon. As The Center Square previously reported, Conference Board’s Measure of CEO Confidence released in May found that the majority of CEOs expect the U.S. to enter a recession.

“Nearly 60% of surveyed CEOs expect inflation will come down over the next few years,” the report said. “However, they also believe that the Fed’s interest rate hikes will cause a brief recession. Sixty-one percent of CEOs said economic conditions were worse than six months ago, up from 35% in the first quarter. Thirty-seven percent of the CEOs said conditions in their own industries were worse than six months ago, up from 22% in the first quarter.”

Meanwhile, American consumers are growing increasingly pessimistic about the economy and report inflation as a top concern. That economic pessimism is translating into political dissatisfaction with the Biden administration.

“Biden's current 41% approval rating puts him in the lower tier of all prior presidents' job approval ratings taken just before past midterm elections,” Gallup said. “Biden currently has the same approval rating that Donald Trump did at the time of the 2018 elections, when the GOP lost 40 House seats, and similar to Ronald Reagan's 42% in October 1982, before the Republicans lost 26 seats. Only one president, George W. Bush, had a lower rating than Biden does today, and his 38% rating in November 2006 was associated with a 30-seat loss.”

Majority of Americans Use Savings to Cover Inflation Costs as Stagflation Concerns Mount, Reports Say

The majority of Americans’ finances are worse than they were a year ago and they’re blowing through savings to make ends meet as record-high inflation has caused prices to skyrocket, several reports indicate.

At the same time, financial experts argue stagflation warnings are surfacing as the White House says it hasn’t “missed much” on inflation and boasts of economic growth.

Roughly 70% of Americans are using their savings to cover the higher costs of goods that are blowing through their budgets, a recent survey of 2,000 adults conducted by Forbes found. According to the survey, 67%, or “a full two-thirds of Americans say they’re raiding their savings as prices for goods and services spike.”

Among them, 8% said they’ve completely drained their savings; 23% have depleted a substantial amount and 36% have spent a small amount solely because of inflation. Older Americans are faring better, with 67% of those 77 or older saying they haven’t touched their savings.

But as real wages have dropped and consumer debt has increased, savings are shrinking for most Americans. According to a Bureau of Economic Analysis report, the personal savings rate for April 2022 was 4.4%, the lowest level since September 2008.

Likewise, a New York Federal Reserve “Survey of Consumer Expectations” found the majority surveyed said their finances are worse today than they were a year ago. Spending growth expectations increased sharply in April to 9%, the Fed reported, “the fifth consecutive increase and a new series high.”

Those impacted the most are between the ages of 40 and 60 and without a college education, the survey found.

Concerns about stagflation are also increasing, the Fed found. Stagflation occurs when rising interest rates, increased unemployment and slowing economic growth occur at the same time. While inflation is at a 40-year high and the Fed is expected to raise interest rates later this week, unemployment numbers are going down, not up.

Recently surveyed economists also agree the U.S. is likely to hit a recession in 2023, according to a report by the Financial Times. One third said the recession could hit by the second half of next year; 40% said it would happen during the first or second quarters.

As inflation rose by 8.6% in May from last May, the highest since 1981, consumer confidence also fell. According to the Consumer Confidence Board, consumer confidence dropped to a three-month low in May – a key indication that a recession is near.

When evaluating consumer data, “70% of our GDP is consumer spending, and consumers are about as gloomy as they’ve ever, ever been,” George John, a University of Minnesota professor, told WCCO Sunday Morning. “So that tells me consumer spending is not going to continue, and that’s when you get a recession.”

Rick Rieder, BlackRock’s CIO of global fixed income, echoed a similar sentiment. “More and more corporate announcements and earnings releases (or warnings) are reflecting a consumer that is now in a terrible mood given the decline in net disposable income, and consequently, these consumers are dramatically slowing spending on the backside of it,” he wrote, as reported by CNBC.

Economists surveyed by the Consumer Confidence Board “do not foresee the economy picking up steam in the months ahead,” it found. “Looking ahead, expect surging prices and additional interest rate hikes to pose continued downside risks to consumer spending this year,” the board warned.

The Fed is expected to raise interest rates this week by half a point or 75 basis points to offset inflation.

Some economists expect the economy to slow as the Fed raises interest rates, MarketWatch reports, and “some companies have already cut back on their hiring plans, and even rescinded some offers,” it notes.

Bank of America’s chief investment strategist Michael Hartnett warned that the U.S. economy is already in a “technical recession” and Phil Orlando, Federated Hermes’ chief equity market strategist said consumers at the margins aren’t “going to be able or willing to continue to pay” skyrocketing prices, creating a “greater stagflationary risk,” CNBC reported.

Meanwhile, President Joe Biden last month boasted that his administration created a record 6.7 million jobs and in his first year in office, the U.S. saw “the fastest economic growth in any year in nearly four decades.”

A member of his Council on Economic Advisors, Jared Bernstein, told MSNBC that he didn’t believe the White House "missed much" on inflation. He also blamed inflation on Russia invading Ukraine and coronavirus variants, even though inflation hit a 40-year high before Russia invaded Ukraine and the U.S. has been dealing with the coronavirus for more than two years.

“Inflation is historically elevated everywhere,” Bernstein said. “So it is certainly not just one country’s fiscal or monetary policy.

"I don't think the White House missed much at all in the following sense,” he added. “We don't sit on our hands and hope that these forecasts for stable growth and inflation slowing down come true."

Diesel, Regular Gas Hit New Record Highs Tuesday

Diesel and regular gasoline prices hit a new all-time high Tuesday as they continue their rapid climb in recent weeks.

Diesel, up to $5.78 per gallon, has hit a new record almost every day this month.

Regular unleaded gas continued to extend its record, reaching $5.02 nationally. Several states have surpassed the $5 mark, and many are drawing nearer every day.

California leads the nation by far with the highest prices. On Tuesday, the average price for unleaded gas in California was $6.44. Georgia has the lowest prices at $4.49 per gallon.

Recent polling shows many Americans are cutting back on driving and summer vacation plans because of higher costs.

Republicans have hammered Democrats on gas prices, which have soared since President Joe Biden took office.

Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., took to Twitter, writing, "When the people in charge won’t produce more oil, put criminals in jail or enforce our immigration laws you end up with historic gas prices, a violent crime wave & a border crisis".

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(The Center Square) – There is a call for more gender, harassment, bullying, and Title IX investigations in Wisconsin schools.

The group Fair Wisconsin, which calls itself the leading statewide organization advocating for LGBTQ+ people, on Thursday said local schools need to be supported after what happened with the misgender/sexual harassment investigation into three middle schoolers in Kiel.

“Young people in Wisconsin are facing a spike in antitransgender harassment this spring. Anti-transgender extremists in Kiel have even threatened to bomb schools and libraries following a Title IX investigation into an incident of anti-trans bullying and harassment in a local middle school. These threats come amid a nationwide trend in harmful rhetoric and extremist political attacks on transgender students, from curriculum censorship laws to health care bans to sports participation bans,” the group said in a statement.

Kiel Schools closed their investigation into the three eighth-grade boys last week. The decision came after a week of bomb threats to the local school district and even a death threat case that saw a California man arrested by the FBI.

“We urge our elected officials and school leaders to counter these attacks by enforcing existing comprehensive non-discrimination policies, continuing active investigations into these incidents, and investing in additional support for young people facing discrimination and harassment,” Fair Wisconsin’s Executive Director Megin McDonell said Thursday.

Kiel Schools are not the only school district to deal with anger about questions of gender in their classrooms.

A Waukesha County judge last week allowed a lawsuit from two pairs of parents in Kettle Moraine Schools to move forward over the district’s secret-gender policy, and the Wisconsin Supreme Court is weighing a challenge to Madison School’s policy that allows students to transition at school without letting parents know.

“We can all agree that kids deserve to feel safe at school. Students should be able to focus on learning, without fear of being treated differently, bullied, or even bombed. But right now, anti-trans extremism is putting young people in harm’s way – from school staff perpetuating harmful anti-transgender rhetoric to vigilante extremists threatening violence. These extremists don’t represent the majority of us in Wisconsin who strongly support equal rights and opportunity for everyone, including LGBTQ+ people,” McDonell added.

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(The Center Square) – Abortion is once again front and center in Wisconsin’s race for governor.

Gov. Tony Evers on Wednesday called the Republican-led legislature into a special session on June 22 to “repeal Wisconsin’s criminal abortion ban.”

“I’ve said all along I’ll never stop fighting to defend reproductive rights and safe, legal access to abortion as long as I’m governor, and today, I’m asking Wisconsinites to join us by making your voices heard.”

That drew immediate reaction, and condemnation, from the Republicans running for governor.

Kevin Nicholson was first to react.

“You ignore record murder on our streets and call a special session to encourage the continuation of a practice that has killed 500K+ Wisconsin children and 60M+ American children since #RoeVWade,” Nicholson said on Twitter.

Former Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch said Republican lawmakers in Madison need to hold the line.

“Tony Evers wants abortion without restrictions. Republicans should reject his special session,” Kleefisch said in her own tweet.

Candidate Tim Michels fired-off a string of tweets in response to the governor’s call to “get to work.”

“Yes Tony, let’s get to work. But here’s what must be done if you’re going to recall the legislature: Fix the tragic mess at the Union Grove Veterans Home by the 4th of July. Pass and sign into law the Parental Bill of Rights. Ban Zuckerbucks,” Michels tweeted. “Oh, and you could fire John Chisholm today.”

Wisconsin is one of more than two dozen states where abortion will become illegal if Roe v. Wade is overturned. The U.S. Supreme Court appears poised to do that any day now.

Abortion is a divisive issue in Wisconsin and in the race for govenror.

The latest Marquette Law School Poll from last month shows not quite half (48%) of Democrats believe it is one of the most important issues, while nearly a third (31%) of Republicans, and 38% of independent voters say the same thing.

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Renewed Debate Over Arming Teachers After Uvalde Shooting

(The Center Square) – The tragic and deadly shootings in Buffalo, New York, and Uvalde, Texas, have renewed the debate over gun control measures, but another policy idea also has been thrust back to the forefront: arming teachers.

After the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown, Conn., in 2013, Texas passed a law allowing teachers to sign up as firearm-carrying “marshals.” The program has not had widespread adoption. Several other states have laws allowing teachers to carry firearms on school grounds.

Now, Ohio may follow suit with its own plan to allow teachers to carry guns.

Ohio Republicans have spearheaded the issue in their state, passing a bill in both the House and the Senate this week that would reduce the amount of training teachers need to carry a gun to school from 700 hours to 24 initial hours followed by four recurring hours of training that the state’s attorney general would oversee. Ohio school districts would have the authority to add additional hour requirements.

Federal law prohibits carrying guns on K-12 school grounds but does allow exceptions for adults with state-issued licenses, leaving states wiggle room to create their own policies. So far, there is no nationwide consensus, and states have often deferred to local school districts.

The debate has been furthered after controversy surrounding the police response to the recent Texas shooting – the Uvalde shooter was active for over an hour inside the school before federal border agents confronted and killed him.

Newly released polling from Convention of States Action, along with the Trafalgar Group, found the majority of surveyed Americans say armed teachers would make schools safer. Currently, very few schools actually have teachers carrying weapons on school property.

The poll reports that “57.5 percent of American voters believe that preventing properly trained school teachers and school staff from carrying a firearm makes schools more dangerous” compared to 30.8% who say the opposite.

The poll surveyed 1,091 likely voters nationwide from May 25 through May 29 with a 2.9% margin of error. The poll's results varied by political affiliation, with 57.1% of Independents and 67.5% of Republicans favoring arming teachers while 48.2% of Democrats said the same.

Notably, younger Americans were most supportive, with 61.8% of 18-24 year-olds saying that prohibiting properly trained teachers from carrying guns would make schools less safe.

Polling of teachers suggests they are not as supportive. A Gallup poll from 2019 found that 73% of surveyed teachers “oppose teachers and staff carrying guns in schools” and 58% said “carrying guns in schools would make schools less safe.”

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