Amid the spate of school shootings and threats thereof that have cropped up throughout the country and dominated the media for the past several years, some in the city of Gainesville, Georgia are now considering taking a cue from the NRA and Ted Nugent as they mull over issuing Colt 6920 M4 rifles to their area public schools.
The proposal, brought up in October, would place one AR-15 style rifle in each school, secured within a safe which would require a finger print scanner to open and would maintain the weapons on site for use, should a school shooting incident occur.
The idea was initially broached to the school system by Gainesville police in April, following the Sandy Hook massacre which left twenty children and six teachers dead. The plan is still under consideration and would require final approval by the school board.
In July, a small and rural school system in Arkansas made similar headlines when the Clarksville school district issued handguns to all teachers. Under the Arkansas plan, teachers were given stipends of $1100 to purchase a handgun and holster of their choice, and the district itself put up $50,000 to a private firearms and self-defense company to train the educators in defensive combat tactics and firearms handling.
During the lessons, as reported by the Christian Science Monitor, teachers trained by firing pellet guns at a student who pretended to hold another at gunpoint. No such training programs have been announced for the teachers or staff at Gainesville, and the idea of placing guns in schools is still under debate.
One sticking point in the discussions is the cost to the school board. The weapons themselves, the Colt 6920 M4s, are expected to cost the school district upwards of $6,000 a piece, with the storage safes included. Of the total, $3,000 for each rifle and safe is proposed to be allocated from the school’s general funds, with the remaining $3,000 being put up by the police department.
Under the proposal, only school resource officers would have access to the weapons, however neither this, nor the shared expense to fund the idea has yet to address the insurance policy increases that would accompany the addition of weapons to the schools, which in the Arkansas story, were said to be substantial.