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North Carolina county sheriff says his office will install AR-15 rifles in schools

A North Carolina county sheriff has vowed to place safes filled with AR-15 rifles and ammunition at six local schools in response to the shooting at a school in Uvalde.

Madison County Schools are bolstering campus security for the upcoming 2022-2023 academic year by working with Madison County Sheriff’s Buddy Harwood to install heavy weaponry that can be deployed in the event of a hostile intruder.

“We were able to put an AR-15 rifle and a safe in all our schools in the county,” Harwood continued. “We also have burglary tools to enter those vaults. We have extra magazines of ammunition in those vaults.’

Those burglary tools are designed to break through auto-closing doors installed in schools that can only be opened from the inside, potentially trapping children and teachers in a room with an attacker.

Harwood says his office took the step after it was revealed that poor decision-making and lack of training about situations involving an active gunman were reported as major errors in the Texas State House report on investigations into the Uvalde massacre.

“Those officers had been in that building for so long and that suspect was able to break into that building and injure and kill so many children,” Sheriff Buddy Harwood told police. Asheville Citizen Times. “I just want to make sure my deputies are prepared if that happens.”

Uvalde police stood in a hallway for more than an hour in June as gunman Salvador Ramos, 18, killed 19 children and two teachers before being shot dead.

Madison County Schools Superintendent Will Hoffman said school district officials in the county have been continuously briefed on the new security measures and also meet regularly with local authorities, including Harwood, for training with instructors from Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College.

Maddison County Sheriff Buddy Harwood cited the importance of self-defense against active gunmen and the shortcomings in local authorities' response to the Uvalde shooting as reasons for introducing the new security measures on school campuses

Maddison County Sheriff Buddy Harwood cited the importance of self-defense against active gunmen and the shortcomings in local authorities’ response to the Uvalde shooting as reasons for introducing the new security measures on school campuses

Vaults filled with AR-15s will now be introduced at schools in Madison County, North Carolina, as a local sheriff tries to prevent a repeat of the Uvalde massacre for next academic year

Vaults filled with AR-15s will now be introduced at schools in Madison County, North Carolina, as a local sheriff tries to prevent a repeat of the Uvalde massacre for next academic year

Hoffman has also given Madison County Sheriff officials access to school camera systems, previously controlled only by the county’s Emergency Operations Center (EOC).

Six schools that are part of the Madison County school district where the changes will take effect are: Brush Creek Elementary, Hot Springs Elementary, Mars Hill Elementary, Madison Middle, Madison High, and Madison Early College High.

“The reason we put the breaking tools in the safes is because if we barricaded someone in a door, we don’t have to wait for the fire department to get there,” Harwood said.

“We will have those tools to be able to break through that door if we need to. I don’t want to have to run back to the car to grab an AR because that’s wasted time. Hopefully we never need it, but I want my boys to be as prepared as possible,” he added, explaining the importance of self-defense.

The sheriff, who announced the new safety measures at the school in a video shared on Facebook, said that while he understands the concerns some may have at seeing school officials wielding AR-15s, it is a necessary measure due to the increase in school shootings around the world. country.

“I’m a firearms instructor. We carry a (9mm) 135-grain bullet,” Harwood told the Citizen Times. “We have the maximum 50 cartridges that my SROs carry through the school to protect that school.

Brush Creek Elementary (pictured), Hot Springs Elementary, Mars Hill Elementary, Madison Middle, Madison High, and Madison Early College High will all be armed with vaults full of semi-automatic weapons for the 2022-2023 school year

Brush Creek Elementary (pictured), Hot Springs Elementary, Mars Hill Elementary, Madison Middle, Madison High, and Madison Early College High will all be armed with vaults full of semi-automatic weapons for the 2022-2023 school year

SROs stand for school counselors, who regularly update safety measures and are also responsible for crime prevention in schools.

“I hate that we’ve come to a place in our country where I have to put a safe in our schools and lock that safe so my agents can buy an AR-15. But we can shut it down and say it won’t happen in Madison County, but we never know,” Hardwood said.

“I want Madison County parents to know that we will take all necessary steps to ensure that our children are safe in this school system. If my parents as a whole want me to stand at that door with that AR around that cop’s neck, I’m going to do whatever my parents want to keep our kids safe.”

The sheriff added that members of his office worked hand in hand with school officials during two training sessions held over the summer.

“I have a whole bunch of people who are very capable of giving this training,” Harwood said. ‘It is sponsored by AB Tech, so my men get training hours for it, including the fire brigade.’

In this photo from a surveillance video provided by the Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District via the Austin American-Statesman, authorities intervene in a hallway as they respond to the shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, May 24

In this photo from a surveillance video provided by the Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District via the Austin American-Statesman, authorities intervene in a hallway as they respond to the shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, May 24

There have been 27 school shootings so far this year.

The Uvalde shooting at Robb Elementary was the deadliest school shooting in the past decade. In 2012, a gunman in Connecticut opened fire, killing 26 people, 20 of whom were children as young as 6 years old at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

The total death toll in May also surpassed that in the 2018 attack on Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, which killed 17 people.

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