The Idaho public school boards are considering offering students elective courses in gun safety. The House Education Committee has agreed to hear the proposal, HB 240. If approved, the bill would promote firearms safety classes developed by Idaho Department of Fish and Game, law enforcement agencies, or firearms associations for the state’s youth.
“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 situations,” State Rep. Ron Nate, R-Rexburg said. “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.”
HB 240 would not require funding obligations and the classes would not be mandatory. The bill only asks local school boards to consider the option of offering the courses. Nate referenced the National Rifle Association’s Eddie Eagle Gun Safe program, which began in 1988, citing its use in helping reduce firearm-related deaths. The program has taught over 29 million youth in all 50 states, Canada and Puerto Rico, the basics of firearm accident prevention.
Idaho is not the only state to embrace the concept of teaching kids gun safety within a school setting. In Louisiana, a bill was introduced that would have made attendance by elementary school students in the state in the program mandatory, and only authorized the NRA program. In order for the bill to pass the educational class had to become optional and was then signed into law by Gov. Bobby Jindal (R). Missouri also adopted a similar bill in 2013, signed by Gov. Jay Nixon (R).