AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — State law enforcement officials said Monday that a bill that would ban BB guns and non-firing replica firearms in schools is necessary to protect students from potential tragedies, but opponents contend it is too broad and would do little to improve school safety.
Supporters of the measure say police officers could easily mistake the realistic-looking firearms for the real thing, especially with security concerns running high in light of school shootings across the country. They say a scenario of a student entering a school building with such a firearm could end badly if an officer is forced to make a quick decision, pointing to incidents like one in California last year when a 13-year-old boy was fatally shot by a sheriff’s deputy who said he thought a BB gun was an assault rifle.
School resource officer Rachel Horning, with the Kittery Police Department, told the Education and Cultural Affairs Committee on Monday that’s the type of tragedy she’s trying to avert.
”I will do 100 percent what I need to protect myself and others,” she said. ”So, if the juvenile presents that lookalike weapon and refuses to drop it, I will act….
Source: Associated Press