Schools in Madison County, North Carolina, will be stocked with AR-15 rifles this upcoming school year.
The security measure is in response to the mass shooting at Robb Elementary in Uvalde, Texas, according to the Asheville Citizen-Times.
Nineteen students and two teachers were killed in the attack on May 24. The response to the shooting has been criticized as law enforcement waited more than an hour before engaging the gunman.
"Those officers were in that building for so long, and that suspect was able to infiltrate that building and injure and kill so many kids," Madison County Sheriff Buddy Harwood told the Citizen-Times. "I just want to make sure my deputies are prepared in the event that happens."
School resource officers are being trained to use the weapons and respond to potential mass shootings, Harwood said.
The rifles will reportedly be stored in locked safes inside the schools.