The Madison County Sheriff’s Office in North Carolina along with Madison County school officials are placing AR-15s in all six schools in the county when classes begin this month.
Madison County Sheriff Buddy Harwood says each of the guns would be locked inside a safe, as well as extra ammunition and breaching tools.
Sheriff Harwood tells the Asheville Citizen Times that the decision is based on the Uvalde school shooting:
"Those officers were in that building for so long, and that suspect was able to infiltrate that building and injure and kill so many kids. I just want to make sure my deputies are prepared in the event that happens…
We were able to put an AR-15 rifle and safe in all of our schools in the county. We've also got breaching tools to go into those safes. We've got extra magazines with ammo in those safes.
The reason we put the breaching tools in the safes is that in the event we have someone barricaded in a door, we won't have to wait on the fire department to get there. We'll have those tools to be able to breach that door if needed. 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…
I hate that we've come to a place in our nation where I've got to put a safe in our schools, and lock that safe up for my deputies to be able to acquire an AR-15. But, we can shut it off and say it won't happen in Madison County, but we never know. 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."
Sheriff Harwood adds that the reason they put the breaching tools in the safes is that in the event we have someone barricaded in a door, “we won’t have to wait on the fire department to get there…Hopefully we’ll never need it, but I want my guys to be as prepared as prepared can be.”