Shreveport representative wants metal detectors in theaters



The mass shooting in Lafayette has re-ignited the debate about installing metal detectors inside movie theaters. A state representative from Shreveport says she’s already working on a bill to bring the detectors to every theater in Louisiana.

July 20, 2012:  A mass shooting inside a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado killed 12 people and injured 70 others.  The first talk began nationally about putting metal detectors in theaters.

Almost three years to the day later, July 23, 2015:  Inside a movie theater in Lafayette, Louisiana, yet another mass shooting kills 3 including the gunman.

“It’s a sad day to make preparations to take your children or grandchildren to the movies, and the next thing that you know you find someone staring down on you with a weapon,” said democratic State Representative Barbara Norton.

Norton says she believes metal detectors are the answer.

“We can put some metal detectors in the theaters we can make sure they are not carrying those guns into those movies,” said the state representative.

Norton is drafting a bill she hopes to present to the criminal justice committee she serves on. It would require all movie theaters statewide to use metal detectors.

KSLA News 12 found that hand-held metal detector wands start at $50, while walk-through metal detectors can cost anywhere from $2,000 to $5,000 each. That’s just the cost for the equipment, then there’s the staffing.

Some say there is a real potential metal detectors in theaters could scare off customers, not to mention increase the wait times to get into a movie. All of which could be a hard sell for movie theater chains and customers.

“I think that would cause an issue because of the influx in and out of theaters. The traffic, it could slow down the business,” said moviegoer Alex Tibbit.

“I don’t see this as a hardship, I see this as something that could possibly save lives,” said Norton.

Theater chain operators and their governing body, the National Association of Theater Owners, have declined to comment directly after the most recent shooting on the prospect of metal detectors.

Copyright 2015 KSLA. All rights reserved. 

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