NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — Gov. Chris Christie said Friday that posting armed guards outside schools won’t make classrooms safer or encourage learning; warning against turning schools into armed camps.
For such a plan to be effective from a law enforcement perspective, the Republican governor said armed officers would have to be positioned outside every classroom, not just at the front entrance, because there are many ways to enter a school.
“You can’t make this (school) an armed camp for kids,” he said.
Christie stopped short of commenting directly on the proposal by the National Rifle Association that armed police officers be stationed in every American school to stop the next killer “waiting in the wings.” Christie said he hadn’t yet read the proposal.
The governor, who is a former federal prosecutor, has called for a thoughtful dialogue on gun violence, mental illness and exposure to violent video games.
He also said it’s up to police to make sure New Jersey’s gun laws, which are the second toughest in the country behind New York’s, are enforced.
Christie noted the success of a recent gun buy-back program in reducing the number of weapons on the street. A two-day buy-back in Camden returned 1,137 weapons, so many that the program’s $250,000 budget was exhausted within hours and had to be replenished, he said.
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