Aug 6, 2022 - Politics & Policy

North Carolina school district plans to put AR-15s in every school

On display at a gun shop in Wendell, N.C., an AR-15 assault rifle.
An AR-15 rifle on display in North Carolina. Photo: Chuck Liddy/Raleigh News & Observer/Tribune News Service via Getty Images

A North Carolina school district said Friday it plans to put AR-15 guns in every school in the event of a future mass shooting.

Why it matters: The topic of arming teachers and school staff members has become an ongoing discussion in the United States in the wake of the Uvalde, Texas, school shooting, with some schools now training teachers to carry weapons.

What they're doing: The Madison County school system in North Carolina plans to put AR-15 rifles in special safes in every school throughout the county, the Asheville Citizen-Times reports.

  • Sheriff Buddy Harwood said the rifles will allow schools and police officers to quickly defend themselves against school shootings.
  • "I do not want to have to run back out to the car to grab an AR, because that’s time lost. Hopefully, we’ll never need it, but I want my guys to be as prepared as prepared can be," he told the Asheville Citizen-Times.

Zoom out: School districts across multiple states are discussing whether or not teachers should be wielding guns to stop future school threats in the wake of the Uvalde school shooting, in which 19 children and two teachers were killed.

In Ohio, a new law gives teachers the right to carry firearms after less than 24 hours of training, stoking critics' concern.

  • The curriculum for training is still being drafted, Gov. Mike DeWine said earlier this month, per the Ohio Capital Journal.
  • Individual districts can determine policies for training and whether to arm their staff, too, the Marion Star reports.

In Florida, there are more than 1,300 school staff members working as armed guardians across 45 school districts, the New York Times reports.

Texas has at least 402 school districts enrolled in a program that allows people, including teachers and staff, to be armed, per the Times.

Pennsylvania has been discussing the topic recently, too. State Sen. Doug Mastriano introduced a new bill that would allow school employees with a license to carry a firearm to carry the weapon at work.

Go deeper