Schools across the nation should train selected staff members to carry weapons and should each have at least one armed security officer to allow a quicker response to an attack, the director of an NRA-sponsored study said today. Former Rep. Asa Hutchinson of Arkansas made the remarks as a task force he headed released its report, which included a 40- to 60-hour training program for school staff members who are qualified and can pass background checks. (Read the full report.) "Teachers should teach,” said Hutchinson. “But if there is personnel who has good experience, who has interest in it and is willing to go through this training,” they should be able to do so, he added.
The 225-page NRA study made eight recommendations. They included changing state laws that might bar a trained school staff member from carrying a firearm, NRA-provided online assessments that schools could make of their safety procedures, and better coordination with law enforcement agencies. The study drew immediate opposition from the American Federation of Teachers, which represents 1.5 million teachers and other workers. "Today's NRA proposal is a cruel hoax that will fail to keep our children and schools safe," said AFT President Randi Weingarten. "It is simply designed to assist gun manufacturers" to flood the nation with more guns and large magazine clips. (Read more NRA stories.)