BOULDER COUNTY, Colo. -- The Boulder County Sheriff’s Office is proposing putting AR-15s in schools to help save lives during a school shooting.
If approved, long guns will be placed in safes that only school resource officers could access.
The current proposal calls for one AR-15 at Niwot High School and another AR-15 at Lyons Middle Senior High School.
There was plenty of concern and disagreement over the proposal during a Tuesday community meeting in Lyons with school administrators, parents, students and deputies.
But even amid the disagreement -- there was plenty of common ground on an important commitment -- to find the best ways to keep children safe.
“With the AR-15, we can engage a target at a farther distance,” a Boulder County sheriff’s representative said during the meeting.
Authorities said it takes about 10 minutes for officers to respond to Niwot High School and 15 minutes to respond to Lyons Middle Senior High School.
Deputies insist school resource officers need quick access to heavier firepower much faster than those response times to neutralize an active shooter.
“I think that protection is what we need,” one parent said.
Other parents said they needed more convincing and believe more guns are not the answer.
The student body president at Lyons said most of his peers feel uneasy about the proposal.
“You find the problem early,” the student said. “You have more counselors. You don’t need more guns.”
St. Vrain Valley School District leaders say any safe holding an AR-15 would be programmed to only open with a deputy’s fingerprint.
“It bothers me that we’re thinking in these terms, but that’s where we are,” a parent said.
Several parents spoke about the importance of research and data during the meeting, saying they want district officials to seriously study the proposal before giving an OK.
The St. Vrain Valley School board will have the final say. No timeline has been set for a decision.