After the December school shooting in Connecticut, the National Rifle Association said there should be good guys with guns to guard every school in the country.
Today the NRA says it will have details on how to put that plan in place, and what it could cost taxpayers. For the most part, the dollar figure depends on whether school guards are sworn law enforcement officers.
“It’s not just simply about being able to defend, but about being able to address and respond quickly in the whole security scenario that law enforcement officers are trained to do,” says Francisco Negron, general counsel with the National School Boards Association.
Depending on the district, one officer could cost $50,000 to $80,000, according to the National Association of School Resource Officers. There are about 100,000 public schools in the country, putting the total in the billions each year.
The NRA has said it is sensitive to the cost issue, so it plans to offer free training for volunteers.
“Who is going to actually assure that these individuals really know what they’re doing?” says Daniel Webster, who heads the Johns Hopkins Center for Gun and Policy Research.
Webster says volunteer armed guards could add to schools’ liability insurance premiums, because of the risk of accidents.