Gun safety classes in schools
March 1, 2017
By Idaho Congressman Ronald Nate
The picture above is from the March 1956 issue
of Life Magazine and it shows a classroom of
youngsters in Indiana learning about guns and
gun safety from a police officer. In the modern
era of school shootings and growing gun
ownership, many states are returning to gun
safety classes in schools.
Currently, at least 11 states allow for gun
safety classes in public schools from elementary
school through high school. One state allows for
gun safety classes in high school only.
I am working on a bill to allow and encourage
school boards to approve gun safety classes for
Idaho schools. The bill is simple and it doesn't
mandate gun safety classes, it only encourages
school boards to consider providing them as
electives for secondary students.
If successful, we can look toward expanding the
program to primary schools as well.
There are several national education programs
directed toward kids in kindergarten through
third grade. The focus is on what to do when in
the presence of a gun. Many kids who have not
grown up around guns have a natural curiosity
The early gun safety classes teach them to Stop,
Don't Touch, Leave the Area, and Tell an Adult.
The program has demonstrated success. According
to the Centers for Disease Control, the National
Rifle Association's Eddie-the-Eagle program has
reduced incidental firearm-related deaths among
their children participants by more than 80%.
Even if kids don't have guns in their home,
there's a significant chance they will encounter
them in the homes of their friends or in other
Teaching them the proper dangers and cautions
will help keep them and their friends safe. Many
gun safety programs also teach about active
shooter situations and what to do. This is
valuable training for when and if such a
horrible incident might occur in Idaho.
The Idaho bill to encourage school boards to
offer elective courses in gun safety is
currently in the House Education Committee, and
it was successful in its introduction hearing
today. A full hearing should be forthcoming.
Hopefully Idaho can join the other states in
adding to child safety by teaching them the
basics about guns and gun safety. It can be a
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