School district official pulls item off agenda

Carson High School's firearms practice range is under scrutiny as the district considers making schools safer.

The practice range is located at the rear of the school in a building near the bus garage. It's used by the Navy Junior ROTC program where students shoot pellet guns. In addition, the sheriff's department and the Carson City Gun Club use the target range.

"Does the school district want to run it, I'm not sure," said Mike Mitchell, building and operations manager for the district. "Who's looking at the background of who comes and goes, and when? Should the district be in the position of deciding who should come and go?"

The school district board is currently creating a "zero tolerance for weapons on campus" policy. The trustees will be reviewing the safe school policy during their meeting tonight, in the Sierra Room of the Community Center, 851 E. William St., Carson City. The board was to hear Mitchell's presentation on the irony that exists as the district operates a gun range at the high school. Mitchell pulled the agenda item for later consideration.

"Obviously, we gain a lot of benefits from it, since our ROTC has used it for years," Mitchell said. "That training is part of the program. If we didn't have it on our campus, where would they go?"

In addition, he said the fact the sheriff's department and the gun club is using the range has to be a benefit.

Part of the proposed language for the school district policy would allow weapons of less than .22-caliber in size to be allowed on campus so that the range could continue to be used.

"I'm not sure I could stand up and say that a .22-caliber is less dangerous than a .45-caliber or 9 mm (pistol)," Mitchell said. "We're in the throes of who we tell can come on our campus with a gun. The board has had to take a stance where we have no firearms and where we allow firearms."

In addition to those concerns, the insurance company is questioning the district's allowance of out-of-district users onto the facility and the liability of coverage.

"There's going to be a lot of discusson on this, and to have it adequately discussed by the board, we're going to have to have a lot of information to present," Mitchell said.

He said there will be public discussion on this, from both sides of the issue.

"We want to get this policy resolved so we can get the weapons portion of the policy written so we can get it out in the public," he said.

What: Carson City School District

When: 7 p.m., today

Where: Sierra Room, Community Center, 851 E. William St., Carson


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