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FL county giving AR-15 rifles to its schools

AR-15. (Gary Coronado/Los Angeles Times/TNS)
August 30, 2022

One school district in Florida has added AR-15 rifles in a safe in all schools to better prepare school resource officers for a possible active shooter situation. 

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Flowers said keeping rifles on campus at Indian River County schools will allow school resource officers to “respond immediately” to a threat. More than 15,000 students are enrolled in the district’s schools.

“Our school resource deputies bring the rifle in in a rifle case in the mornings. They take the rifle out with them in the evenings. It does not stay in the school. It’s only there while they’re there on campus,” Indian River County Sheriff Eric Flowers told CBS12. 

Flowers said he wants to have the same firepower as a potential shooter. School resource officers are instructed to immediately retrieved the rifle in the face of a threat.

“Our folks are there to protect the kids. Our folks are bringing guns, they’re the good guys. When bad guys show up with guns they’re gonna find our guns. They’re gonna find out that we’re well prepared and that we’re prepared for that threat,” he said. “We’ve seen what’s happened in Parkland. We’ve seen what happened in Uvalde. Our folks are not gonna stand by and wait for something bad to happen to kids in Indian River County.”

The school district said in a statement that “one Student Resource Officer/Deputy is at each of our 13 elementary schools and 4 middle schools, and 3 SRO/SRD’s are at each of our traditional public high schools. The SDIRC has also hired 26 total non-LEA security monitors for all our middle and high schools.”

Another Florida school district is taking updated security measures a step further – school resource deputies will carry rifles while on campus. 

In a Facebook post earlier this month, Brevard County Sheriff Wayne Ivey announced the new security plan, which he asserted will deter anyone “with evil in their heart” who seeks to “harm a child or one of our teachers.”

“Let me be very clear: you are not coming into our schools and killing our children. I firmly believe that if you do not meet violence with violence, you will be violently killed,” he said. 

Earlier this year, Madison County, North Carolina Sheriff Buddy Harwood announced a similar plan in the wake of the Uvalde, Texas, Robb Elementary school shooting, during which 19 children and two teachers were killed. Harwood said that a safe, AR-15 rifle, and other security tools had been installed in the county’s six public schools.

“I want the parents of Madison County to know we’re going to take every measure necessary to ensure our kids are safe in this school system. If my parents, as a whole, want me to stand at that door with that AR strapped around that officer’s neck, then I’m going to do whatever my parents want as a whole to keep our kids safe,” Harwood said.