NRA study suggests trained, armed school staffers - WSLS 10 NBC in Roanoke/Lynchburg Va

NRA study suggests trained, armed school staffers

Posted: Updated:
WASHINGTON -

A report sponsored by the nation's largest gun lobby suggests that schools train selected staffers as armed security officers — findings that come just a week before the U.S. Senate plans to begin debating new gun legislation.

The former Republican congressman who headed the National Rifle Association study said at a news conference Tuesday there should be at least one protector with a firearm for every school, saying it would speed responses to attacks.

The report's release served as the gun-rights group's answer to improving school safety after the gruesome December slayings of 20 first-graders and six adults at a Newtown, Connecticut, elementary school.

The report showed the organization giving little ground in its fight with President Barack Obama, who as sought to curb firearms since the massacre. Obama's chief proposals include broader background checks for gun buyers and bans on assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines — both of which the NRA opposes on constitutional grounds.

Debbie Leidlein, chairwoman of the Newtown Board of Education, said having trained staff members carry weapons "can become a dangerous situation to have any individuals outside of those who have police training to be carrying weapons around children."

The study — unveiled at a news conference watched over by several burly, NRA-provided guards — made eight recommendations, including easing state laws that might bar a trained school staff member from carrying firearms and improving school coordination with law enforcement agencies. But drawing the most attention was its suggested 40- to 60-hour training for school employees who pass background checks to also provide armed protection while at work.

"The presence of an armed security personnel in a school adds a layer of security and diminishes the response time that is beneficial to the overall security," said Asa Hutchinson, a Republican former congressman from Arkansas who directed the study.

Asked whether every school would be better off with an armed security officer, Hutchinson replied, "Yes," but acknowledged the decision would be made locally.

Hutchinson said school security could be provided by trained staff members or school resource officers — police officers assigned to schools that some districts already have.

Dan Domenech, executive director of the American Association of School Administrators, said while a trained law enforcement officer with a gun would be valuable, his group opposes arming "a teacher or an employee who simply has taken a course and now has the ability to carry a weapon."

The Brady Campaign, a leading gun-control group, accused the NRA of "missing the point" by ignoring the need for expanded background checks and other measures the Senate is considering. It said people want "a comprehensive solution that not only addresses tragic school shootings, but also helps prevent the thousands of senseless gun deaths each year."

Also denouncing the recommendations was Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, which represents 1.5 million teachers and other workers. She called it a "cruel hoax that will fail to keep our children and schools safe" while helping only gun manufacturers.

The NRA released its report as congressional momentum seems to have stalled for any sweeping steps to curb firearms violence.

Top Senate Democrats have little hope for a proposed ban on assault weapons, and the prospects for barring large-capacity magazines also seem difficult. Key senators remain short of a bipartisan compromise on requiring gun transactions between private individuals to undergo federal background checks, which currently apply only to sales handled by licensed gun dealers. The Senate plans to begin debating gun legislation next week.

White House spokesman Jay Carney said administration officials were seeking a middle ground and emphasized background checks, widely seen by gun control advocates as the most effective step available.

"We are working with lawmakers of both parties, and trying to achieve a compromise that can make this happen. Especially when it comes to the background checks," Carney told reporters.

The spokesman commented as a White House official revealed that the president plans a trip next week to Connecticut, scene of the horrific elementary school shootings that spurred the new push for gun control legislation. Obama wants to use the trip to build pressure on Congress to pass legislation.s

Obama also plans to focus on firearms curbs in a trip Wednesday to Denver, not far from last summer's mass shooting in a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado.

The 225-page study cost the NRA more than $1 million, Hutchinson said. The task force included several former top officials of federal law enforcement and security agencies, including the Secret Service and Homeland Security Department.

Hutchinson said the NRA did not interfere with his task force's work. In a written statement, the NRA said the report "will go a long way to making America's schools safer."


Associated Press writers Alan Fram in Washington, John Christoffersen in New Haven, Connecticut, and Carolyn Thompson in Buffalo, New York, contributed to this report.

 

  • PoliticsMore>>

  • NC flags lowered on day of Fulghum service

    NC flags lowered on day of Fulghum service

    Wednesday, July 23 2014 5:11 AM EDT2014-07-23 09:11:02 GMT
    A first-term North Carolina legislator who died last weekend will be formally remembered within state government and at the church he attended for decades.
    A first-term North Carolina legislator who died last weekend will be formally remembered within state government and at the church he attended for decades.
  • NC counties see sales tax changes in Senate bill

    NC counties see sales tax changes in Senate bill

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 10:46 PM EDT2014-07-23 02:46:55 GMT
    File PhotoFile Photo
    Four large North Carolina counties would see their authority to raise sales taxes scaled back in Senate legislation that its Republican supporters say would level the playing field across the state in generating revenue.
    Four large North Carolina counties would see their authority to raise sales taxes scaled back in Senate legislation that its Republican supporters say would level the playing field across the state in generating revenue.
  • State: Ex-Tarboro town manager used funds inappropriately

    State: Ex-Tarboro town manager used funds inappropriately

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 7:10 PM EDT2014-07-22 23:10:06 GMT

    The state auditor’s report determined that the former town manager “made nearly $366,000 of purchases" that were inappropriate.

    The state auditor’s report determined that the former town manager “made nearly $366,000 of purchases" that were inappropriate.

  • Roanoke Civic Center may get new name

    Roanoke Civic Center may get new name

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 5:05 PM EDT2014-07-22 21:05:07 GMT
    The Roanoke Civic Center may soon get a new name.
    The Roanoke Civic Center may soon get a new name.
  • Radford Police investigate New River drowning

    Radford Police investigate New River drowning

    Sunday, July 20 2014 11:59 PM EDT2014-07-21 03:59:06 GMT
    Radford City Police are investigating a possible drowning that happened Sunday.
    Radford City Police are investigating a possible drowning that happened Sunday.
  • Agents get subsidized 'Obamacare' using fake IDs

    Agents get subsidized 'Obamacare' using fake IDs

    Wednesday, July 23 2014 1:37 PM EDT2014-07-23 17:37:11 GMT
    Congress will hear testimony Wednesday detailing how undercover investigators used fake identities to get taxpayer-subsidized health insurance under President Barack Obama's law.
    Undercover investigators using fake identities were able to secure taxpayer-subsidized health insurance under President Barack Obama's health care law, congressional investigators said Wednesday.
  • Trending StoriesTrending StoriesMore>>

  • Couple arrested for having sex on Cortez Beach in front of beachgoers

    Couple arrested for having sex on Cortez Beach in front of beachgoers

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 1:08 PM EDT2014-07-22 17:08:35 GMT
    Bradenton Beach police officers were dispatched to Cortez Beach after a few people called 911 and complained about a couple having sex publicly, right next to a little girl on the beach.
    Bradenton Beach police officers were dispatched to Cortez Beach after a few people called 911 and complained about a couple having sex publicly, right next to a little girl on the beach.
  • Largest companies by revenue in each state

    Largest companies by revenue in each state

    Thursday, July 10 2014 8:01 PM EDT2014-07-11 00:01:10 GMT
    Broadview Networks recently decided to find out the biggest -- by revenue -- company in each state in the US.The company used the Fortune 500 list to start with, but needed data by state, so it turned to Hoover's.With data from that company, they were able to search through each state's list of companies and then find the largest -- by revenue.Just flip through the list above and see who is the biggest in each state, what town they are based and their revenue.
    Broadview Networks recently decided to find out the biggest -- by revenue -- company in each state in the US.The company used the Fortune 500 list to start with, but needed data by state, so it turned to Hoover's.With data from that company, they were able to search through each state's list of companies and then find the largest -- by revenue.Just flip through the list above and see who is the biggest in each state, what town they are based and their revenue.
  • Houston school district holds 2nd job fair in Raleigh

    Houston school district holds 2nd job fair in Raleigh

    Wednesday, July 23 2014 6:27 AM EDT2014-07-23 10:27:25 GMT
    File photoFile photo
    A Texas school district is once again holding a job fair for teachers in Raleigh.
    A Texas school district is once again holding a job fair for teachers in Raleigh.
Powered by WorldNow

WSLS 10, P.O. Box 10
Roanoke, VA 24022-0010

Telephone: 540.981.9110
Fax: 540.343.3157
Email: news@wsls.com

Can't find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.