Police request funds to help cover costs of AR-15s for North Dakota school resource officers
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The Bismarck Police Department in North Dakota is asking for funding in the 2019 city budget to help cover the cost of AR-15 rifles for six school resource officers, The Associated Press reported Monday.

The police department and Bismarck Public Schools would share the roughly $26,000 cost of gun safes, bulletproof vests and medical kits. The schools would not pay for the rifles, however, the news outlet reported 

Lt. Jason Stugelmeyer said the department’s six school resource officers carry handguns. The decision to purchase higher-powered weapons comes in response to a shooting at a Parkland, Fla., high school that left 17 people dead and several others injured.

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The guns would be locked up within the schools, and would help officers who would need a longer-range weapon in the event of an emergency, Stugelmeyer said.

If the funding request is approved, the police department will receive the money in January.

"I don't think (the police department's) request would've been made without them believing that (the rifles) will provide them with the tools necessary," Interim district Superintendent Jim Haussler said.

The February shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland prompted renewed calls for stricter gun laws. Advocates called for raising the age requirement to purchase firearms, and a ban on high capacity weapons.

Following the shooting, the Trump administration laid out a series of proposals that focused on "hardening" schools against future gun violence. The plan included a push for states to provide firearms training for school staff members.