Walker says building security his focus for school safety

Alaska Gov. Bill Walker spoke with Chuck Todd on MSNBC's "MTP Daily" show on Friday, Feb. 23, 2018.

ANCHORAGE (KTUU) - Alaska Gov. Bill Walker said in an MSNBC interview Friday that school building security is his priority for school safety, but that raising the age for long guns is a "possibility."

Walker spoke with MSNBC's Chuck Todd Friday on "MTP Daily," (short for "Meet the Press," Todd's weekly show that airs on Sundays) about gun control proposals in the aftermath of a school shooting in Florida that killed 17 people.

Walker was on the program alongside Ohio Gov. John Kasich, R, and most of the discussion focused on gun rules, and how to make schools safer. The two are in D.C. for the National Governor's Association.

Earlier Friday, Florida Gov. Rick Scott proposed a three-point plan to prevent gun violence that includes the sale of guns to anyone younger than 21. It would also call for a trained officer for every 1,000 students in a school, and ban bump stocks, which weren't a factor in last week's high school shooting.

When asked if he agreed with the proposal to raise the age to buy a gun, Walker said, "That's a possibility," but pointed out that Alaska's relationship with guns is much different, and that many young people in Alaska provide food for their communities by hunting.

Walker said his priority in the debate is making sure that schools are secure. "It really is a matter of making sure it's not as accessible to come into our schools, and our children do not become victims," Walker said. "We had a situation in the past in Alaska, it was horrific, and we don't want to have another."

In 1997, a 16-year-old student brought a gun into Bethel Regional High School and killed the principal and a student. Evan Ramsey was sentenced to 198 years for the crime.

In 2001, 33-year-old Jason Pritchard stabbed students outside of Mountain View Elementary school. Four students were injured.

When asked his thoughts on arming teachers, Walker reiterated that limiting access to schools should be the priority. He said when he was a kid, he and other students would bring their guns to school, which Todd and Kasich agreed was a completely different world than people in many other areas. "We have moved a long ways (from that), but my concern is our schools are designed to have free access," Walker said. "Everybody comes to a school, anybody can walk into various doors, and we need to change that so that coming into the school itself is more challenging after school starts."

Watch the full interview, which also includes talk of Walker's proposal, along with other governors, on health care:

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