GAINESVILLE, Ga. (CBS Atlanta) – A meeting was held Monday between parents and teachers from three schools in Gainesville to discuss a proposal that would allow for an AR-15-type assault rifle to be housed in each educational facility.
According to the Gainesville Times, the plan would permit one Colt 6920 M4 carbine rifle to be placed in a safe in each school, and only a school resource officer would be given access. The safes would be opened by fingerprint recognition, the paper additionally learned.
Local authorities first suggested the measure to schools this past April as a response to last December’s shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. that ultimately took the lives of 20 children and six adults before the gunman, Adam Lanza, took his own life.
It was discussed again following an attempted shooting at McNair Discovery Learning Academy in DeKalb County.
Police Chief Brian Kelly told the Times that the priority of local authorities is, “first and foremost … [the] protection of life.”
“I was on the school governance council when it first came up just as a memorandum for us to approve,” Ashley Bell, chairman of the Gainesville High governance council, was quoted as saying Monday evening. “I think it’s appropriate that they had this meeting today because there were some questions initially.”
The total cost of the initiative, including the safes, would be $6,000, and would be split evenly between the police and the schools. The latter would use money from their general fund budget, Superintendent Merriane Dyer told the paper.