Gainesville may place rifles in schools

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HALL COUNTY, Ga. - A Hall County school system may store rifles in safes inside school offices in case they're needed to defend students in a school shooting.

Gainesville City Schools Superintendent Merrianne Dyer said the rifles would be placed at Gainesville High School, Gainesville Middle School and Wood's Mill Academy.

Currently, school resource officers keep their rifles locked in their cars, but recent training showed that handguns carried by officers in the schools would not be effective in long hallways or corridors.

"One of the things we saw in these recent incidents is the adversary has bigger, better weapons than what the officers carry in their day-to-day operations and we saw a need to get that to our school resource officers," Gainesville police Lt. Jay Parrish told Channel 2's Ashley Swann.

Dyer said the weapons would be locked in safes in the offices of school resource officers and would only be available when the officers are in the school.

"Our first responsibility is prevention and preventing and intervening in anything that could become volatile or dangerous, but when it does, we need to be prepared," Dyer said.

The school board is expected to vote on the issue in October. All Gainesville schools are charter schools, so it is up to a school's governance council to decide if it will allow the guns inside.


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