Lyons and Niwot discuss keeping AR-15 rifles inside schools

Posted at 9:26 PM, Jun 05, 2018
and last updated 2018-06-06 11:42:46-04

LYONS, Colo — A community meeting at Lyon High School Tuesday night was based around one question: should law enforcement keep an AR-15 rifle inside local schools in case of emergency or a school shooting?

The St. Vrain Valley School District is considering a proposal to keep a single AR-15 long rifle inside a locked gun safe inside both Lyons Middle/Senior and Niwot high schools.

Division Chief Robert Sullenberger of the Boulder County Sheriffs Department took questions and comments from concerned parents at the first of two scheduled community input meetings.

Sullenberger said that all deputies currently have AR-15 rifles in their patrol cars, and the school resource officers at the schools already do the same. This would be placing an additional firearm inside the school, with the resource officers the only ones having access to an additional “tool to save lives” according to the division chief.

One of the main reasons behind the idea is response time. According to Sullenberger, it takes officers an additional ten minutes to respond to Niwot HS and an extra fifteen minutes to respond to Lyons.

Some of the concerns from residents included adding additional weapons onto school grounds, whether or not it would act as a deterrent, and the time it would take for an officer to access the rifle and then face a potential threat.

Superintendent Don Haddad and other board members also fielded questions. Haddad says no decision has been made, and the district will weigh comments and input from the community before moving forward.

“No one wants to put an additional gun in a school,” one board member said. “But the question is will it makes our kids safer?”

But it wasn’t just parents with questions and comments. Two children made comments as well.

“I don’t think it’s a good idea to put a gun in a school,” one said.

Another questioned the potential damage another high powered firearm could have on other students if there were a school shooter.

The district says there is no set timetable for deciding on this.

Thursday’s meeting for Niwot High School is scheduled for 6-7 p.m. at Sunset Middle School, at 1300 S. Sunset St., Longmont