NRA chief calls for corps of armed officers at schools

NRA's Wayne LaPierre spoke at a pres briefing Friday in Washington. NRA's Wayne LaPierre spoke at a pres briefing Friday in Washington. Evan Vucci/AP

A key leader of the National Rifle Association called Friday for the creation of an armed security force to protect all of the nation’s schools.

The corps would include police officers and active-duty and retired military service members.

“There are millions of qualified and active retired police, active, reserve, and retired military, security professionals, certified firefighters, rescue personnel -- an extraordinary corps of patriotic, trained, qualified citizens to join with local school officials and police in devising a protection plan for every single school,” said Wayne LaPierre, the NRA’s executive vice president and chief executive officer, at a press briefing in Washington.

LaPierre called on Congress to appropriate funds to place armed police officers at every school in the country.

He said the NRA would establish a National Model School Shield Program that would include training for security officers. He named Asa Hutchinson, former director of the Drug Enforcement Agency and undersecretary of the Homeland Security Department, to head the effort.

Hutchinson said the program “would be based on a model security plan, a comprehensive strategy for school security based upon the latest, most up-to-date technical information from the foremost experts in their fields.”

“Armed, trained, qualified school security personnel will be one element of that plan,” he said, “but by no means the only element.”

The program, Hutchinson said, would not rely on “massive funding from local authorities or the federal government.” Instead, it would be centered around volunteers in local communities.

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