Weapons training expert: Armed security needed in schools - Tucson News Now

Weapons training expert: Armed security needed in schools

TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

Jeffrey Prather has been a federal firearms instructor and has offered instruction at levels from federal to civilian at his Warrior school for the last decade.  He said that recent shootings have boosted interest in his courses.

"Churches and synagogues are already been doing this.  And lots of times they're coming to me for additional training," he said.

If a school can't have a police officer on regular duty, he suggests training like his for at least one person at each school, from a security officer to a school employee.

"So there needs to be not only a background check but a psychological check, which happens with teachers anyway, and then they need to go through a selection process, a training process of being able to carry that weapon and then being able to operate that weapon under stress in a school environment," Prather said.

Prather said that school environment also needs to change for the long-term, from students' attitudes toward firearms to how they treat each other.  Armed protection is only one part of the plan.

"It needs to be examining the mental and emotional health of the student and changing that, because it's not working, it's getting worse the way we're doing it, and it also needs to be arming people in the vicinity of the schools," Prather said.

While Prather's idea may sound similar to Arizona attorney general Tom Horne's plan, Horne calls for a principal or someone designated by the principal to have access to a weapon that is kept in a safe place.  Prather said that person should be trained to always have the weapon in order for it to be ready and for it to not fall into the wrong hands.

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