SALT LAKE CITY (ABC 4 News) – There's a new foundation in Utah aimed to protect kids from gun violence in schools. It's called “Securing Our Schools” and is the idea of Tom Panuzio, a former FEMA official in the Bush administration and a homeland security expert who lives in Utah.
“We've seen Columbine, we've seen Virginia Tech, we've seen Newtown and enough is enough,” said Panuzio.
The shooting in Newtown hit close to home for Panuzio and sprang him into action.
“I grew up 20 minutes outside Newtown,” he said. “I have two beautiful children and that was an extremely difficult day for me and they're the motivation behind starting this foundation.”
The mission of “Securing Our Schools is spelled out in its name. “It is absolutely to secure schools, to get more resources in schools, we want to see for example more police officers in schools,” said Panuzio.
Though the group backs the NRA's proposal to have armed guards in schools, it differs when it comes the current gun control legislation being debated in the Senate. Panuzio supports expanded background checks and closing the gun show loop hole.
“I'm a gun owner, I have a conceal carry permit, I went through the normal channels of buying a gun and I expect other people to as well,” he said.
Panuzio said already 1,000 members have joined his cause and they've contacting 600 public officials across the country. For more information on Securing Our Schools, click here.