BEDFORD, Va. -

Thousands of Virginians have a permit to carry a concealed weapon.  Bedford County supervisor John Sharp believes those hidden guns prevent crime.

"People tend to be a little more polite, if they believe the other person might have a gun," said Sharp, who argues that states which ban concealed weapons tend to have a higher crime rate than Virginia, where the practice is legal.

One place in the Commonwealth where concealed carry isn't allow is on public school property, but Sharp wants to change that.

"We know there are some who would carry, if they weren't legislated not to do so," said Sharp.

Sharp and his fellow supervisors voted 6 to 1 Monday, to ask the General Assembly for a change in state law.  They want teachers and staff to be allowed to carry concealed weapons on school property.

"We are not asking to arm the teachers," said Sharp.  "We are instead asking Richmond to not disarm them."

They're asking that teachers and staff, with the proper legal permit, be allowed to carry weapons on school campuses.

Bedford County's school board chairman, Gary Hostutler, doesn't think that's the best idea.

"It seems like it may solve one problem but create a whole bunch of others," Hostutler said.

He worries weapons would make an already stressful situation even harder for teachers.

"For them to know that there's armed teachers down the hall, I don't if that would give them more comfort or less comfort," said Hostutler.

Many Bedford schools have resource officers who carry weapons.

Supervisors turned down a request earlier this year to put one of those officers in every school, mainly because of the $800,000 price tag.

Sharp says giving teachers the option to carry weapons won't cost the county a dime.

"I think that would be a much better expenditure of tax dollars," said Sharp.  "We'd get more bang for our buck and we'd get better coverage."

Sharp says he's doubtful the General Assembly will pass this measure.  If the law does change, he'd like for local school boards to have the option of whether or not to implement the policy.  He would also like to see an incentive given to teachers and school staff who receive training on the proper way to handle a weapon.