A recent bill introduced to the Utah State Legislature (HB0258) would allow Utah High School students to participate in a half-semester gun safety class which would be worth half a credit. The bill is being sponsored by Representative Rex Shipp of Cedar City. The course would be offered at the schools and be supported by local training providers who would develop the curriculum for the safety program.
Utah High School Students Could Receive Firearms Safety Training
Representative Shipp is eagerly supporting the bill as he recalls memories of him wanting to go hunting with his brothers and father. Shipp participated in a hunter safety program and began hunting when he was 12 years old. He has said he thinks that it is important for kids to understand the Second Amendment and further that it is important that these same students understand the state laws in regards to firearms. The course itself could potentially be taught by already existing gun safety course trainers as opposed to school staff. While students can choose this safety course as an elective class, their parents could still bar them from participating in the course if they wish.
If you haven’t grown up in a family that does hunting or shooting, you don’t learn proper safety of firearms and many times these kids run into firearms — whether they’re at a friend’s home or wherever they are,
Now anyone here who has taken any type of gun training or safety course will be familiar with the blue or orange replica firearms that are meant to demonstrate the various features and feel of handguns. The bill also includes verbiage indicating that students would be afforded the same opportunity as long as the prop in question was a “Non-firing replica firearm”. The bill also includes details about the course requiring teaching about suicide prevention, the basic operation of firearms including shotguns, handguns, and rifles, marksmanship and accuracy as well as state laws that govern firearms.
Personally, I think this is a great step forward for the State of Utah and if the bill gets passed into law I think we could see a surge of new and responsible gun owners in the very near future as they go on from childhood to adulthood. Full details of the bill are linked below in PDF form if you are interested in reading the entirety of the text.
H.B 258 Firearm Safety In Schools (PDF)