NRA Names Asa Hutchinson to Lead Program Calling for Armed Police in Every School

by Andrew DeMillo, The Associated Press  on Friday, Dec. 21, 2012 2:19 pm  

Asa Hutchinson

(Video: Click here to watch Asa Hutchinson's remarks at the NRA news conference.)

LITTLE ROCK — Former U.S. Rep. Asa Hutchinson on Friday was named the head of a National Rifle Association effort to push for armed officers in the nation's schools, a move that could bolster the Arkansas Republican's conservative credentials as he prepares for a potential 2014 bid for governor.

The NRA announced that Hutchinson would lead a program that will develop a model security plan for schools that relies on armed volunteers. The effort was part of the gun lobby's response to the shooting rampage at a Connecticut elementary school last week that left 26 children and staff dead.

Hutchinson told The Associated Press that the National School Shield program was not aimed at requiring every school to have an armed guard at its school.

"That will be a decision that should be made by local school districts and local security plans," Hutchinson said. "Every place is unique."

Hutchinson said NRA board members reached out to him about the effort. He said he agreed once he was certain that it would be independent in developing its recommendations on school security.

Hutchinson, a former federal Homeland Security official, is considering a run for Arkansas governor in 2014 and is expected to announce his decision in January. He said the new NRA effort won't affect his decision on the race for the state's top office.



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