Catherine Templeton in Columbia on Feb. 26, 2018

Catherine Templeton, a GOP candidate for S.C. governor, introduces her family to a crowd of supporters in Columbia during a Feb. 26, 2018 campaign launch. Staff/Joseph Cranney

WEST COLUMBIA — Catherine Templeton, a Republican candidate for governor, said Monday she opposes any legislation to tighten the state's background checks or restrict access to semiautomatic weapons. 

Instead, to prevent future mass shootings like the Feb. 14 attack that killed 17 at a Florida high school, Templeton suggested arming teachers. 

"We need to address the infrastructure in our schools and what we can do to make our children more safe, but right now the most immediate help would be to have someone in our schools who can defend our children when they are under attack," Templeton said while opening a campaign office in West Columbia. 

She said she would support a proposal to arm educators only if it were voluntary and required training. 

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"The best case would be law enforcement and resource officers, but if a teacher wants — for safety — to be trained, then I think he or she ought to be able to," Templeton said. 

She opposes proposals that would require quicker updates to the state's criminal background database and ban the sale of semiautomatic weapons to people under the age of 20.

Follow Joseph Cranney on Twitter @joey_cranney.

Joseph Cranney is a reporter based in Columbia, covering state and local government. He previously covered government and sports for newspapers in Florida and Pennsylvania.