Schools debate arming school resource officers with AR-15s

by: Liz Artz Updated:

GAINESVILLE, Ga. - Three city schools in Gainesville continue to debate whether they should allow their school resource officers to have high-powered rifles locked in a safe inside their on-campus offices.

Police say that their schools are so large that if a shooter was at the end of a 150-yard hallway, their police-issued pistol would not have the precision of an AR-15.

Gainesville city police went to the three city schools after the Sandy Hook tragedy and asked permission to arm their school resource officers with high-powered rifles.

According to police, the guns would be locked in a safe and not accessible to anyone but the officers designated to that school.

Cpl. Kevin Holbrook said the response from parents has been more favorable after learning the guns will be locked inside the officer's on-campus office.

The city is on a charter school system so it's up each school's council to vote on the issue that is estimated to cost $6,000.

The principal at the Academy at Wood's Mill said his council has not voted yet and did not set a deadline. Gainesville High School expects a decision on whether it will allow the rifle in early December. Gainesville Middle School did not get back with Channel 2 Action on where their council stands on the issue.