North Carolina County hopes AR-15s will stop firing in schools

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Officials in a North Carolina county hope equipping schools with AR-15 rifles will prevent shootings.

According to Madison County Sheriff Buddy Harwood, the safes will contain “burglary tools” for opening barricaded doors, along with “extra magazines of ammunition.”

Harwood said he can see how the “optics” of school staff using AR-15s can be “uncomfortable.” However, he sees it as a necessary action.

“I hate that we’ve come to a place in our country where I have to put a safe in our schools and lock that safe so my agents can buy an AR-15,” Harwood said.

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“But we can shut it down and say it won’t happen in Madison County, but we never know,” he told the paper. “I want Madison County parents to know that we will take all necessary steps to ensure that our children are safe in this school system.”

The plan comes as officials in the county hope to strengthen security measures, citing “outrageously poor decision-making” by police in response to the Uvalde, Texas massacre. Those “system flaws” were detailed in a report by a Texas House Commission of Inquiry.

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“Those officers were in that building for so long and that suspect was able to infiltrate that building and injure and kill so many children,” Harwood said.

“I don’t want to have to run back to the car to grab an AR because that’s wasted time,” Harwood said. “Hopefully we never need it, but I want my boys to be as prepared as possible.”

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Will Hoffman, superintendent of Madison County Schools, said administrators met with law enforcement officers “regularly” to keep abreast of school safety efforts.

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