Police in Bismark, North Dakota are asking for funds for school resource officers to be armed with AR-15 rifles.
The funds would be included in the city’s 2019 budget for school equipment and the Bismarck Police Department would share the $26,000 cost of the rifles, gun safes, bulletproof vests, and medical kits.
The school district said that they would not fund the acquisition of the firearms and the money would have to come from elsewhere, which is where the local police department would step in.
Upon delivery, the rifles would remain locked up in the schools.
As of right now, Bismark police are only permitted to carry handguns. After the Parkland, Florida shooting, police and school officials began to think about arming school resource officers with rifles due to the fact that handguns lack the long-distance accuracy that a rifle provides.
"I fully believe that we have some solid preventative measures in place, and generally our schools are safe,” said Lt. Jason Stugelmeyer of the Bismarck Police Youth Bureau. “But we have to do everything we can to be prepared for something if it did happen."
District Interim Supt. Jim Haussler District also supports the idea. "I think we have to take any kind of threat to our kids seriously. I don't think their request would've been made without them believing that [the rifles] will provide them with the tools necessary."
If approved, the new budget allocating funds for the rifles and equipment will begin to take effect in January.
What do you think about this school district’s idea? Should more schools follow their lead?