Deputies in Florida Will Now Carry AR-15 Rifles on School Campuses Following Mass Shooting

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After Nikolas Cruz went on a shooting spree at Marjory Douglas Stoneman High School in Parkland, Florida that left 17 dead and 15 others wounded, the topic of how to curtail school shootings has been at the forefront of political debate.

Many are calling for gun control and others are calling for increased security in schools.

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Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel is calling for both.

Israel has announced that his deputies will now be carrying AR-15 rifles, the same type of rifle used by Cruz, during their patrols at Broward County schools.

Israel made sure to reiterate that the rifles his deputies will be carrying are of the semi-automatic variety, unlike the military variants, which are capable of fully automatic and/or burst fire.

‘We need to be able to defeat any threat that comes on to campus,’ he said.

At the same time, Israel also used the opportunity to call for additional gun control measures.

‘Laws have to be changed, we can’t do the same-old, same-old.’

‘I’m not a lawmaker, I can only enforce the laws on the books, but things needs to be changed in America,’ he said.

‘And I’m gonna use my voice and my platform in the Broward County Sheriff’s Office to try and get that accomplished.’

‘Even if these things don’t work out, so what?’ the Sheriff asked.

‘It’s a three-pronged approach,’ he said. ‘I think schools as soft targets need to be fortified. We need to look at how many school resources deputes are being employed at each school. I think the cities and I need to look at that.’

‘Certainly every school in the nation should have a school resource deputy, there should be no school that doesn’t have at least one,’ the Sheriff added.

Marjory Douglas Stoneman High School did have a school resource officer on scene during the shooting, but the deputy did not discharge his weapon.

Israel reiterated that it is the policy of his department to engage active shooters immediately and aggressively to stop loss of life regardless of the situation.

Here are Israel’s full comments: