New Tom Horne proposal allows for one armed person in each school

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By Andrew Michalscheck By Andrew Michalscheck

PHOENIX -- Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne has introduced a new proposal that he believes will help prevent a shooting like the one that took place in Newtown, Conn. from happening in Arizona schools.

On Wednesday, Horne announced a plan that would allow for one individual in each school to be trained to handle a firearm.

The training would be provided by the Attorney General’s Office, and would be free to each school that chooses to participate.

The individual designated to operate the firearm would be allowed to keep the gun in a locked, secure location, and would receive adequate communication that would alert them to emergencies throughout the school.

Schools will not be forced to take part in the program, and each person that is chosen to handle a firearm will be evaluated to make sure they are capable of operating a gun.

Horne said the ideal situation would be to have a police officer in each school, but budget restraints won’t allow that to happen.

“It may not be possible to afford a police officer in every school,” said Horne. “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.”

Supporting Horne’s proposal are Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu, Mohave County Tom Sheahan, and Apache County Sheriff Joe Dedman. Their offices would also help train individuals taking part in Horne’s proposed program.

“Past efforts to protect innocent children and our schools have resulted in making them more vulnerable and more alluring as targets for mass killings,” said Babeu. “Restrictive gun laws, or even trying to take guns away from millions of law abiding citizens is unconstitutional and will not stop this violence.”