MARSHALL, N.C. (AP/WCSC/CBS Newspath) — When schools in one North Carolina county reopen later this month, new security measures will include stocking AR-15 rifles for school resource officers to use in the event of an active shooter.

School officials and Madison County Sheriff Buddy Harwood have placed one semiautomatic rifle in each of the county’s six schools.

Each of the guns will be locked inside a safe. The action was spurred by the shooting in Uvalde, Texas, that left 19 children and two teachers dead in May.

Harwood announced the plan during a news conference in June. Harwood argued then that a deputy armed with a handgun is not always enough to stop certain situations.

“I have school resource officers who are certified deputy sheriffs in every school in our county, but we’ve sometimes seen that having just a deputy armed with a handgun isn’t enough to stop these animals,” the sheriff said in June.

Because of this, Harwood said he decided to arm every school resource officer with an AR-15 rifle with optics and accessories.

According to Harwood, all the rifles and accessories were bought using money donated by residents in Madison County.

Haywood explained that every officer will attend hours of extra tactical training with these rifles to ensure they are ready to use them. He added that each rifle will also be kept in an undisclosed location at each school.

The idea of having AR-15s in schools does not sit well with Dorothy Espelage, a UNC-Chapel Hill professor who’s conducted decades of research on school safety.

Espelage predicted there will be accidents with the AR-15s and said placing them in schools “doesn’t make any sense.”