HOBBS, N.M. (KRQE) – A New Mexico community college is giving its guards guns.
The school says it’s trying to protect its students and be proactive because of the many recent mass shooting, but not everyone’s happy about it.
“They say it’s a drug free and a gun free school, so why do they need guns?” said student Annastasia Wood.
Last week, the New Mexico Junior College in Hobbs armed its security guards with weapons.
The college says recent school shootings prompted it to change its gun policy.
“The events that have taken place in the country particularly on college campuses are really concerning to us,” said New Mexico Junior College Director of Institutional Effectiveness and College Relations Larry Sanderson.
Sanderson, who helped implement the program, says four of the college’s security guards are now equipped with a .45 automatic.
He says the security guards are retired law enforcement officers who have tactical training.
The director of security says the guards are only to use their guns if there is a life and death situation.
“We’ve got students here that are in their teens. The parents want to feel like they’re sending the children to a safe environment,” said Director of Security Dennis Kelley.
But some students say the guns make them feel less safe.
“It’s not that big of a school and we really don’t have much violence go on here, so I don’t think that’s really necessary,” said Roger Garcia.
Still, the school says the weapons are there to protect those on campus and eventually they want more security guards to carry guns.
“The only thing we take more seriously than education on this campus is the safety of our student, faculty and staff,” said Sanderson.
Security guards at CNM, New Mexico’s largest community college, do not carry guns.