Asa Hutchinson Talks Guns and School Safety

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Asa Hutchinson was the guest speaker at the Conservative Arkansas' monthly meeting Saturday (Feb. 16) at the Center For Non-Profits in Rogers.

When Hutchinson talks about protecting students, he said he thinks of his own grandchildren.

"In today's environment, I would certainly want them to have the school with the added protection," Hutchinson said.

Hutchinson heads the NRA’s National School Shield Program. A report is expected to be released in April with several recommendations in addition to armed guards at every school.

"But also, it's technology; it’s architecture of the schools,” Hutchinson said. “We want to provide some funding, some pilot programs to address the mental health side as well."

Hutchinson said one problem is that the only person allowed to have a weapon in schools is a sworn police officer.

"I think the debate will be whether we need to broaden that so that other trained school officials, and the emphasis on training, can also, in an isolated area with proper training, provide protection for the children," Hutchinson said.

Hutchinson said they want to provide money for training and pilot programs so schools can afford additional security.

"Every school district is scrambling around as to how we can have better systems to protect our children in the event of some violence that occurs on a campus," Hutchinson said.

The report's recommendations will come from experts on school safety and firearms training.

Hutchison has announced his candidacy for the 2014 Arkansas Governor's race. Other candidates are Republican Curtis Coleman and Democrat Bill Halter.