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Georgia school district to provide rifles to campus officers

- The Washington Times - Wednesday, December 18, 2013

School resource officers in Gainesville, Ga., will soon have access to long-range rifles at their local middle and high schools.

The Gainesville school board approved the measure at its Monday meeting. The proposed gun, a Colt LE6920 M4 AR15 carbine, would be kept inside a safe, accessible only by the officers, using biometric technology, the Gainesville Times reported.

"We have a very strong relationship with Gainesville Police Department," Chairwoman Maria Calkins said. "We work with them every day to protect the kids and make Gainesville City Schools a safe place."

The police department first proposed the idea shortly after the December 2012 attack on Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., where a lone gunman shot and killed 20 children and six women.

The estimated cost is $6,000, which will be shared by the school system and police department. Officials were unsure when the guns would be purchased, the Gainesville Times said.

"For some reason or another, I just can't buy into guns in school," said board member Willie Mitchell, who was the only member to vote against the measure.

"To me it's like putting Band-Aids on a cancer," he told the newspaper. "Yeah, we need to study ways to keep bad people out of our school system but a gun in a cabinet, away from where probably the scene would happen, isn't going to stop any damage."

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