Will Gun Safety Be Taught In Kansas Schools

A House bill heard in committee last week to standardize gun safety education in Kansas schools would draw in large part from a program organized by the National Rifle Association.

The measure, HB 2460, would base firearm education programs in elementary and middle schools on the NRA’s Eddie Eagle Gunsafe initiative. The sponsor of the legislation, state Rep. John Whitmer, R-Wichita, says the NRA’s program, which teaches kids who encounter a firearm not to touch it, leave the area and tell an adult, sends a good message.

“It’s a great program, out Eddie Eagle bill,” said Whitmer shortly after the proposal’s first hearing in the Committee on Federal and State Affairs.

The hearing, as reported by the Topeka Capital-Journal, drew some pushback from the Kansas Association of School Boards who argued curriculum decisions should be done by local school boards, and from a Kansas City Democrat, state Rep. Louis Ruiz, who called the move an “overreach.”

Under Whitmer’s bill, which would cost an estimated $2,500 for starters, youth through the eighth grade who receive gun safety training would draw from the Eddie Eagle program while older students would take optional hunter’s education courses developed by the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism. The state-run hunter’s safety course is already being taught at no cost in 63 schools.

The measure has the support of the conservation agency, the Kansas State Rifle Association and the NRA.

According to the gun rights organization, the program started in 1988 and has taught over 29 million youth in all 50 states, Canada and Puerto Rico, the basics of firearm accident prevention. Recently revamped, the group contends it is not about marketing guns to kids, just safety.

“Neither Eddie nor any members of his Wing Team are ever shown touching a firearm, and there is no promotion of firearm ownership or use,” the program’s website says. “The NRA does not make any sort of profit off the program, nor does it intend to.”

The Kansas proposal is not the first of its type. Eddie’s mandatory use was proposed for a gun safety program in Louisiana in 2015, however, in order to pass lawmakers stripped the arbitrary language and made the education optional, allowing educators to draw from other resources. Besides Louisiana, Utah and other states have moved to establish firearm safety programs in public schools.

Whitmer says his bill is set to come up in committee Thursday.

source: guns.com

  • John Gillis

    I applaud this move. Our young students should be educated in firearms safety, not living in fear of them.

    • pappy450

      John,
      I agree, BUT (there is always a “but”) “LIBERAL INDOCTRINATORS” (teachers) will NEVER submit to teaching these things, because it goes against their engrained COMMUNIST “values”, nor will they allow NRA Instructors or their reference material, into their indoctrination centers(schools)
      Things sure have changed since I was in school. I drove to school in my senior year with a shotgun and a rifle in a rack in full view. (Today, I would have been arrested, thrown in jail and my guns and truck seized)

      • Steven Earle

        Well you know the resistance will be fierce. Schools and collages should be forced to employ as many conservative teachers and administrates as they have liberals.

        • RC

          Very good point!

      • RC

        As much as I hate to agree, you are so right. Speaking for myself, I grew up in the 1930’s. Even in grammar school, if dad bought any of us a new BB gun or a new .22 or a 410, we took it to school to show it off. The teachers would admire our new rifle or shotgun. Of course that was a different world we lived in and I lived it a somewhat rural area. A bunch of we boys would be out hunting and the cops would even stop and admire our guns and a rabbit or two if we’d been lucky. That’s the way it should be now and we shouldn’t have to contend with a bunch of Socialist teachers tryin to brainwash our kids into some screwed up way of thinking.

    • RC

      I agree. Even if a person has nothing to do with firearms he or she should have at least a basic knowledge of them. We’ve had those weapons around for over 200 years and with many it’s a way of life. Accidents are bound to happen but with proper training there obviously won’t be nearly as many.

  • Aron

    I agree. Even if a person has nothing to do with firearms he or she should have at least a basic knowledge of them. We’ve had those weapons around for over 200 years and with many it’s a way of life. Accidents are bound to happen but with proper training there obviously won’t be nearly as many.

  • Alan404

    Sounds like something that should be done. Interestingly, there is sometimes a big difference between a thing that should be done, and what actually is done.