Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne proposed a program to reduce the risk of another massacre like the one in Newtown, Conn., by training a designated school employee at participating schools to use a firearm and allow them to keep a firearm at the school, his office announced Wednesday.
Horne said in the statement that the "ideal solution" would be to have an armed police officer stationed in schools, but that the state legislature has cut back on such a program, already in place in many schools, due to budget concerns.
From the press release:
Horne added: “The ideal solution would be to have an armed Police Officer in each school. Some of our schools have such officers, referred to as School Resource Officers (SROs’). They are not only there to handle emergencies, but also make friends with the students, and the students learn that Police Officers are people one can confide in, and are not the enemy.
However, budget considerations have caused the Legislature to cut back on the SRO program. It may not be possible to afford a Police Officer in every school. In that case, the next best solution is to have one person in the school trained to handle firearms, to handle emergency situations, and possessing a firearm in a secure location. This proposal is analogous to arming pilots on planes.”
The release named several sheriffs, including Paul Babeu of Pinal County, who support the program and signaled that a bill that would make the program consistent with the law will be introduced in the state legislature.
*This post has been updated.