The Washington Times - January 29, 2013, 05:42AM

DENVER — A Colorado Senate committee defeated a bill Monday that would have allowed teachers to carry concealed weapons to school even as hundreds of K-12 educators packed a free firearms-training class.

The bill failed on a 3-2 party-line vote in the Senate Judiciary Committee after Democrats rejected arguments that the proposal would improve school safety. The bill’s Republican sponsors had argued that allowing qualified staff to carry concealed firearms would help prevent tragedies like the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre.

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That same evening, about 300 school employees attended a course on obtaining a concealed-carry permit offered free of charge by the Rocky Mountain Gun Owners, which posted the offer in response to December’s Sandy Hook shooting.

After filling the initial 150 slots, the organization added more seats at the Chateaux at Fox Meadows event center in Broomfield, about 20 miles from the state capitol, and then filled those, said RMGO executive director Dudley Brown.

He said the class included teachers from private and public schools, as well as school administrators, janitors and bus drivers.

“We could do this every weekend for the next six months and fill it up every time,” Mr. Brown said. “Our hope is that the next Adam Lanza is confronted with a teacher or multiple teachers with a gun.”

Adam Lanza, the Sandy Hook gunman, committed suicide after killing 26 people at the Newtown, Conn., school, including 20 children.

Colorado Democrats, who control both houses of the state legislature, are expected to introduce a package of bills during the 2013 session restricting access to firearms. About 100 protestors gathered outside the state capitol Monday to demand gun control at a “Let Us Live” rally sponsored by Together Colorado.