Rural schools build their own arsenal of AR-15 rifles to stop shooters

The semi-automatic weapons will be purchased with community donations, North Carolina sheriff says.

Officials are placing an arsenal of AR-15 assault rifles in North Carolina’s Madison County Schools in an effort to stop shooters from harming students.

That means school resources officers in the rural North Carolina district will now have access to the same semi-automatic weapons used by the attackers in Sandy Hook, Parkland, Uvalde and others of the nation’s deadliest school shootings.

“We’ve sometimes seen that having just a deputy armed with a handgun isn’t enough to stop these animals,” Madison County Sheriff Buddy Harwood said in a recent statement on Facebook. “We want to ensure (students) can to go the playground and play and not worry about some thug … opening up on them with some kind of AR-15, shotgun or pistol.”

The guns are coming with the full support of the superintendent and school board, Harwood said. The AR-15s and accessories were bought with local donations and will be stored in gun safes in “undisclosed locations” in each of the district’s six schools. Deputies will also receive additional tactical training with the weapons, Harwood said.

The sheriff made the decision in response to daily school tragedies, including murders, shootings and rapes, that he says are occurring every day. “God forbid that anyone ever comes to our schools to cause harm, but if they do come … I want my resource officers to have the ability to meet violence with violence,” Harwood said. “My school resource officers will not have to wait, retreat or leave the situation.”

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The decision is receiving criticism and support on social media.

Matt Zalaznick
Matt Zalaznick
Matt Zalaznick is a life-long journalist. Prior to writing for District Administration he worked in daily news all over the country, from the NYC suburbs to the Rocky Mountains, Silicon Valley and the U.S. Virgin Islands. He's also in a band.

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