Nightly News   |  April 02, 2013

NRA-funded study encourages guns in schools

Every school should consider having someone inside with a gun, according to National School Shield Task Force director Asa Hutchinson. NBC’s Pete Williams reports.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> tonight lawmakers in the state of connecticut , which, of course, has the sad distinction of being home state to the tragedy in newtown, say they have reached a deal on legislation that would amount to some of the toughest gun laws in the country. it includes a ban on high-capacity magazines, and universal background checks. meantime, in washington, the momentum to do something similar appears to have run out. and tonight a group sponsored by the nra is out with an expanded recommendation for schools across the country to arm themselves. our report tonight from our justice correspondent pete williams .

>> reporter: after studying school safety, in response to december's shooting in connecticut , the group funded by the nra said every school should consider having someone inside with a gun. to be able to respond more quickly to an armed intruder.

>> if you have the firearm on the presence of someone in the school that can reduce the response time , it will save lives. that is the objective.

>> reporter: today's report said local school districts should decide for themselves whether to arm their personnel. and that some may choose not to, especially those that can afford other kinds of security like metal detectors . the report says it's not teachers who should be armed, but a staff member designated by school administrators, then given 40 to 60 hours of training. but hutchinson, who stressed that his group works independently from the nra , said more gun control is not the answer.

>> you can address assault weapons, and it doesn't stop someone bringing in a .45 caliber firearm into the school.

>> reporter: endorsing today's recommendations, mark mattioli, whose 6-year-old son james was killed in the connecticut shooting.

>> i think politics needs to sort of be set aside here and i hope this doesn't, you know, lead to name calling.

>> reporter: the nation's largest teachers union today said both teachers and parents are against arming school officials.

>> that's not what they believe should happen in schools. they want a safe learning environment. parents don't want their kindergartner to pass someone with a gun on their way to class.

>> reporter: the report recommends that schools assess their own safety and develop a security plan, something it says most schools lack. pete williams , nbc news, washington.