Madison County, North Carolina schools have been equipped with safe boxes containing AR-15 rifles, breaching tools, and extra magazines with ammo in case of a mass shooting, reports The Asheville Citizen Times.
"We were able to put an AR-15 rifle and safe in all of our schools in the county," said Madison County Sheriff Buddy Harwood.
"We've also got breaching tools to go into those safes. We've got extra magazines with ammo in those safes."
The beefed-up security measures come in response to the Uvalde, Texas, shooting on May 24 where an 18-year-old who broke into the school killed 19 children and two adults with a military-style rifle.
No one was able to stop the gunman in part because of "systemic failures and egregious poor decision making" by nearly everyone involved who was in a position of authority, according to the Texas House of Representatives.
"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," said Harwood.
"I do not want to have to run back out to the car to grab an AR, because that's time lost. Hopefully we'll never need it, but I want my guys to be as prepared as prepared can be," he added.
The breaching tools are there "in the event we have someone barricaded in a door, we won't have to wait on the fire department to get there," Harwood said.
There are six schools in Madison County: Brush Creek Elementary, Hot Springs Elementary, Mars Hill Elementary, Madison Middle, Madison High, and Madison Early College High.
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