Missouri gov. signs gun-safety course for first-graders

Teach 'em young

Teach ’em young

Fox News: Missouri schools will be encouraged to teach first-graders a gun safety  course sponsored by the National Rifle Association as a result of legislation signed Friday by Gov. Jay Nixon.

The new law stops short of requiring schools to teach the Eddie Eagle Gunsafe  Program. But by putting it in state law, Missouri is providing one of the stronger state-sanctioned endorsements of the NRA-sponsored firearms safety  course, which the group says is taught to about 1 million children annually.

The legislation also requires school personnel to participate in an “active  shooter and intruder” drill led by law enforcement officers.

Both the staff and student training initially were proposed as mandates when the legislation was filed on Dec. 13, which was the day before a gunman massacred 26 people in a Connecticut elementary school, including 20  first-graders. The provision about the first-grade gun-safety course was amended to make it optional during Senate debate.

The legislation also transfers the responsibility for issuing identification  cards for concealed gun permits from driver’s license clerks to local sheriffs.  That change was prompted by concerns that the state licensing agency’s  procedures had infringed on people’s privacy rights.

Nixon noted the change in concealed carry permits — not the school gun-safety programs — while announcing he was signing the legislation. Asked if he supported the NRA’s gun safety course for first-graders, Nixon merely noted that it was optional. “Allowing the local school districts to make those choices is appropriate,” he said.

The legislation was one of several pro-gun measures passed this year by  Missouri’s Republican-led Legislature.

Nixon, a Democrat, vetoed a bill last week that would have allowed federal  agents to be charged with state crimes for trying to enforce various federal gun control laws. The vetoed bill also could have landed Missouri journalists in jail for publishing the names of gun owners and would have let specially trained teachers and administrators carry concealed guns into schools.

But Nixon signed a less aggressive gun-rights bill last week, which allows  state employees to keep firearms in their vehicles and fire chiefs to get local  approval to carry concealed guns.

According to the NRA, more than 20 state legislatures have passed measures  encouraging the use of its Eddie Eagle course in schools since the gun safety  program began in 1988. Ohio became the first state to provide financing for it about a decade ago. But Missouri is among just a few states — including North  Carolina, Texas, and Virginia — to endorse the program with state laws.

The program includes a video in which an eagle character teaches children  four basic rules if they see a gun: “STOP! Don’t touch. Leave the Area. Tell an  Adult.”

“It’s teaching a great safety message to children that could possibly save  their life,” said Eric Lipp, the NRA’s national manager of community  outreach.

In many cases, Lipp said, the course is taught by police serving as school  resources offices and the materials are provided for free by the NRA. He  estimated that the program has been used in thousands of schools.

Some of Missouri’s school teacher and administrator groups took no position  on the legislation, largely because it’s merely optional. It was unclear how  many Missouri schools already are using the program, or whether the official allowance for it in state law will encourage more to do so.

“How many districts will do this is anyone’s guess,” said Brent Ghan, a  spokesman for the Missouri School Boards’ Association.

I say good to the NRA training program! Teach your children at a young age about gun safety and they are more likely to respect firearms.


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6 years ago

This is a very positive idea for kids. I grew up around guns and never thought a thing about it. This is the only way I know to say it.
IF a child is around guns, they know that it is “people’ that kill NOT the guns. This is SUCH an infantile statement that has to be said. Hammers, knives, boards don’t kill people. PEOPLE KILL PEOPLE.

6 years ago

At least someone has common sense.

6 years ago

This is the best time to teach values! When children listen to adults and learn safety and responsibility.

Nicolas von Schatz
6 years ago

The plan is good indeed, but nothing is better than proper upbringing. Only the reasonable parents can “plant” reasonable mentality. I wonder what the Hell must be done to raise up a psychotic anti-gun libtard like those who infest the world now.

6 years ago

This is going to have the lefties spinning on their eyebrows and spitting fire while smoke shoots out of their ears.

LOL – And that’s a good thing. 😀