A firearm company reportedly donated nine semi-automatic AR-15 rifles to six school cops in Bismarck, North Dakota – apparently, the weapons will keep the students in case of school shootings.
The Bismarck Police Department submitted a budget proposal in August, which included an amount of $26,000 to purchase new rifles, bulletproof vests, gun safes and medical kits to treat gunshot wounds.
The cost was supposed to be divided between the police department and the school district.
After the county reportedly refused to pay for the AR-15 rifles, the Iowa-based gun company swooped in to supposedly save the day,
Brownells donated nine rifles to six resource officers with the Bismarck Police Department. These officials already had handguns in their possession but the debate about possibly providing them with higher-powered weaponry began after the tragic Valentine’s Day shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.
Now, they have received the machine guns, which have become the favorite weapon of murder among mass shooters, for free.
According to a lieutenant and some county leaders, school resource officers needed rifles to neutralize a threat at a longer range.
Brownells, which happens to be one of the nation’s largest gun suppliers, reportedly also donated gun parts and accessories, worth $8,650. According to a company spokesperson, Brownells has given away products to law enforcement in the past as well.
According to the police department, because the rifles were given to them for free, they now have the opportunity to purchase additional equipment that can help shooting victims.
Since the Parkland school shooting, millions have marched to protest gun violence in remembrance of the students and staff who were killed by a 19-year-old gunman with an AR-15 style rifle. Students and activists have also demanded lawmakers for stronger gun controls.
However, President Donald Trump and most of the Republican leaders appear to agree on the idea of having even more guns in school instead of banning assault rifles.
“If as a nation our best plan is having trained police officers win gunfights on school grounds with semi-automatic assault rifles, that is not a good strategy for public safety,” said David Chipman, senior policy adviser at the Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence and former special agent at the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
“To me, that’s a strategy of last resort,” he added.
Avery Gardiner, co-president at the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, called Bismarck’s decision to arm school resource officers with machine guns “ludicrous, moronic, and at best, naive.”
“That the school is ordering medical kits to treat gunshot wounds at the same time it is getting AR-15s shows ? quite obviously ? that the school recognizes that bystanders get shot when there are AR-15s in schools, and yet they’re going ahead with this stupendously asinine plan,” she said. “If I had school-aged kids in Bismarck, I would move.”
According to researchers, areas with looser "right to carry" gun laws experience higher level of crimes.
Thumbnail/Banner Image: Scott Eisen, Getty Images