‘I hope we never have to use them’: Idaho school district buys guns to protect students
A tiny remote Idaho school district spent $3,500 to purchase guns and train staff how to use them in case of the school grounds come under attack, the Associated Press reports.
After discussing for two years how best to protect the students in Garden Valley School District — located 45 minutes away from the nearest police presence — the district purchased the weapons and had six staffers trained in their usage.
According to a school board member overseeing the tiny school housing less than 300 students of all ages in one building, they hope they never have to use them.
“I hope we never have to use them,” said Alan Ward. “But in the event something did happen, we wanted to be prepared.”
While other school districts have beefed up security — adding campus police and installing metal detectors in the wake of school shootings dating from Columbine in 1999 to Sandy Hook in 2012 — not all districts have the financial ability to take such steps.
Ward said the district spent approximately $3,500 to purchase ammunition and train six school employees to handle the weapons, with additional weapons donated by the community, but refused to state what types of weapons the school is protected by .
According to the NRA, there are few restrictions on purchasing guns in Idaho, including the purchase of a machine gun as long as it is licensed by the state.
In 2014, the Idaho legislature unanimously passed a law criminalizing the enforcement of federal gun laws, allowing state law-enforcement officials to be fined up to $1,000 and charged with a misdemeanor for enforcing federal gun laws.
Idaho Governor Butch Otter (R) signed the bill into law in an emergency session.