Two New Mexico Schools to Install Safes with AR-15s

Two New Mexico Schools to Install Safes with AR-15s
Photo from The Washington Times.web photo

Two schools in New Mexico are getting an upgrade to their security systems by way of a couple safes filled with shotguns and AR rifles.

According to this story from The Washington Times, the Los Alamos School Board unanimously agreed Thursday to put police-owned gun safes inside the middle and high school. Plans are to have the safes installed before the end of the school year.

“The initiative was proposed by Los Alamos Police Chief Dino Sgambellone, who said law enforcement should be able to have gun safes inside the two schools so officers are able to adequately respond in the event of a shooting.”

The story says the Los Alamos Police Department has an officer permanently stationed at each school, as well as another officer who routinely patrols the district's five elementary schools, who are all armed with their standard-issue handguns.

“(The safes) will be stocked with shotguns and AR-15s, “ Sgambellone said. “The reason for that is, and this isn’t in all cases, but in some layouts of schools a pistol is not an appropriate weapon because of the long hallways. Also, a pistol does not always appropriately counter what is brought to these types of situations. There would be no reason to expose that type of weaponry in any situation other than an active shooter.”

Parent reactions were mixed.

"I'm thinking the officer that has the gun on him would do more damage and more protection than having to run clear across campus to get a high-powered rifle," said Melissa Sanchez in the story.

Sgambellone said the safes will be kept in an on-campus location, hidden from students, and only accessible to the officer at that school.

The story says the Mad River School District near Dayton, Ohio, announced earlier this month that it plans to install gun safes ahead of the 2017-2018 school year.