State gun violence bills come with large price tag - - Columbia, South Carolina

State gun violence bills come with large price tag


The NRA unveiled eight recommendations on Tuesday to curb gun violence in schools. Most notably, the gun lobbying group is calling for armed guards in every school in the country.

Their plan falls in line with a Senate and House bill released a few months ago calling for armed school resource officers in South Carolina schools.

The bills are still hanging in the balance, but law enforcement officials we spoke with say this is the right time to act.

"We think saving one life is worth having," said Jeff Moore of the state Sheriff's Association. "One armed resource officer in every school, we think the cost is minimal to saving the lives of our children. Our children are our most important thing we have in South Carolina and our most precious resource."

To Moore, the idea sounds great on paper, but he says it would cost millions to make a reality.

"The House bill doesn't fund it and the Senate bill underfunds it," said Moore. "For South Carolina to do that you'd have to put about 1,000 officers in 1,000 schools -- primarily your elementary school because that is where we don't have resource officers today, and at  
$90,000 to $115,000 for the first year per officer we are talking $90 to $100 million." 

Rep. Bakari Sellers, the sponsor of the House bill, doesn't deny the price tag, but fears the alternative.

"What are going to try and do is make sure we put together different mechanisms," said Sellers. "The first is some local help, county funding, the other is school district funding, of course, state funding together so we can make sure every school is protected."

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