Under a plan being discussed by a northeast Georgia school district, AR-15-type assault rifles would be stored in safes inside schools to defend against a shooting.
The Colt 6920 M4 carbine rifles — one for each school — would be locked in the vehicles of school resource officers when the schools aren't in session.
Details of the plan by Gainesville City Schools were discussed Monday, as parents and teachers met with police.
The Times of Gainesville reports the safes would be accessible by fingerprint recognition, and only the school's resource officer would have access to the rifle.
“Now we have a good understanding for three big questions, which are: Is this going to make our kids safer? How much is it going to cost? And will these weapons be secure?” said Ashley Bell, chairman of the Gainesville High governance council.
The cost is expected to be around $6,000 for one rifle per school, plus a safe for each campus. The cost would be split by the police and the school system. The school’s $3,000 portion would come out of the system’s general fund budget, Superintendent Merrianne Dyer said.
Gainesville police approached the schools about the idea in April after the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre in Connecticut.
The plan still needs approval by the school board.
As reported earlier this year, an Arkansas school district armed 20 volunteer teachers and staff with handguns. The district is the first in the state to arm teachers and is doing so under a state law that allows licensed, armed security guards on campus. The school’s participants in the program, whose identities will be kept secret, will be considered security guards after undergoing 53 hours of training.
In 2013, seven states passed legislation permitting teachers or administrators to carry guns in schools and more than 30 state legislatures introduced bills that would permit staff members to carry guns in public or private schools, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
Information from: The Times, http://www.gainesvilletimes.com