Guns on campus: NRA to announce school safety measures Tuesday

(CNN) — The nation’s largest pro-gun lobby is set to prominently return to the debate over gun rights and restrictions this week when it unveils the conclusions of its school safety initiative in Washington on Tuesday.

The National Rifle Association first announced the National School Shield Program in December as its response to the Newtown, Connecticut, elementary school shooting a week earlier. It posted a bare-bones website and pledged to report back with a set of school safety proposals.

On Tuesday the NRA will announce its own findings and issue a report on how they believe schools can prevent future gun violence similar to the Newtown tragedy.

The National School Shield Program will present to lawmakers, law enforcement, school officials and the public a combination of policy proposals and resources to implement its recommendations, CNN has learned.

The NRA is expected to give Congress legislative proposals in the Tuesday report.

Law enforcement officials will find training recommendations to prepare the armed guards who the organization believes should be available to schools.

State and local officials will find guidelines on how to alter their ordinances to permit the armed guards.

Immediately following the Sandy Hook Elementary tragedy, NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre told reporters, supporters and a few vocal protesters, “The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.”

“Why is the idea of a gun good when it’s used to protect our president or our country or our police, but bad when it’s used to protect our children in their schools? They’re our kids,” he said.

LaPierre, the longtime face of the organization, stood firm to that position and hasn’t wavered despite immense criticism and pressure.

Some lawmakers in several states have considered proposals to arm and train teachers. While the Obama administration hasn’t ruled out some form of armed protection on school property, Vice President Joe Biden made it clear the idea wasn’t his top priority. In a conference call last week with supporters, Biden indicated he preferred background checks be performed on all gun sales and took issue with the idea of arming legislators.

“The last thing we need, and ask any teacher, is to arm teachers … Turn schools into armed camps,” he said.

“But what does make sense is if a school decides they want to have a school resource officer – that is a sworn shield, someone who is a sworn police officer, in or out of uniform, armed or unarmed, depending on what the school wants – in the school to be able to have contact with and build relationships with not only the staff but the students in that school,” he said.

Schools that do not want the dedicated police officer might use the funds on an additional counselor, he suggested.

Biden’s position suggests he and the NRA may share some common ground on the issue.

Both appear to agree that schools need to be empowered to have armed guards if they want them and that infrastructure needs to be in place to train those guards.

Funding such programs remains a key sticking point between the White House and the NRA, including how lawmakers would dole out the grant money to local schools.

The Tuesday announcement is expected to heat up the contentious debate between the two sides.

It comes shortly before the Senate is expected to take up a measure to expand the scope of background checks and further criminalize gun trafficking. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid proposed the legislation and says it also addresses school safety.

Although it does not include the assault weapons ban and restrictions on gun magazine size, Reid indicated the law would be open to amendments.

Since the days immediately after the school massacre, polls including CNN/ORC surveys have shown declining support for strict gun regulations.

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20 comments

  • richiey1

    A SHOTGUN SHOULD BE ABOVE INSIDE DOOR (( OF )) EVERY CLASS ROOM ……
    DUMB AS$ democrats //////…
    STUPID SMOKING BAN ;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;

      • ClanSmokeJaguar

        Actually, Rhonda, the OP is responding to the dumb azz vice president's assertation that all one ever needs is a shotgun in their home.

  • safety guy

    I totally disagree with a hanging shotgun above the doorway, that's about the most unsafe way of storing a gun that I've ever heard of. We have armed guards in airports, in banks, and walking around at any music venue, but we don't care enough to guard our children the same way?

  • John Browning

    Ask any teacher huh?

    My wife is a teacher in an urban school and she would gladly carry a firearm while at work. She does everywhere else. Her principal also supports letting teachers who have demonstrated proficiency carry firearms. The superintendent WOULD support it if he didn't think it would be political suicide. I have heard similar thoughts coming from other school districts too (both urban and rural).

    People can't take a gun away from someone when they don't know its there. Not to mention, those who tout that argument always refuse my challenge to go grab the gun away from a police officer.

    • John Browning

      I would not deputize them. Teachers shouldn't have powers of arrest. It creates too much of a liability for them and for the school district. It would also drastically increase the amount of training they would need. If they are merely being granted permission to carry a firearm for self defense and defense of the students, the only decision the teacher must make is "is someone threatening our lives? Is lethal force justified?". If you deputize them you then introduce a lot of other responsibilities such as force continuum, 4th Amendment issues, just a huge can of worms that shouldn't be opened.

      There is no reason to deputize them. Just give them good training on how to carry safely and discreetly, retention, and defensive use of a pistol (mindset, preparedness, lethal force justification, and tactical shooting). Those are the only topics teachers need to be taught. Don't clutter it up with garbage you don't need when you are just defending yourself (as opposed to arresting someone).

  • Chris

    The first time a kid gets killed accidently by a teacher or a security guard carrying a gun will change the procedures trust me

    • John Browning

      Almost 10% of Hoosiers have a license to carry a handgun. You are surrounded every day by people who are carrying guns and have no idea they are there. Do you feel unsafe going to the grocery store because of this? Why would a school be any different?

      One school district in TX has been allowing their teachers to carry for several years now. Nobody knows which teachers are doing it except the school board. Nobody has been injured.

      A properly holstered gun is 100% safe. It cannot fire. The person carrying that gun only needs to follow one rule: don't remove it from the holster unless your life needs defended. You follow that one rule and nothing bad will ever happen.

      • John Browning

        Sociopaths have been doing this stuff since the beginning of time.

        The difference now is we have all been taught (or brainwashed) to believe that being a victim instead of defending yourself is the moral high ground.

        The worst school massacre in US history was in 1927. The victims were also NOT killed with a gun.

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