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Kansas bill to teach gun safety to students with NRA program

February 7, 2018

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Kansas lawmakers are considering a bill that would require certain curriculum for schools offering gun safety courses.

The bill wouldn’t require schools to provide gun safety training. Schools are already permitted to teach it in Kansas, the Topeka Capital-Journal reported .

The proposed legislation would mandate schools offering training for children in kindergarten through eighth grade to use the National Rifle Association’s “Eddie Eagle Gunsafe” program. High schools offering training would have to use the hunter safety program offered by the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism.

Most lawmakers on Tuesday supported providing gun safety training to students. The bill was brought by Republican Rep. John Whitmer, a proponent of past pro-firearm legislation.

The NRA began its gun safety program in 1988, said Travis Couture-Lovelady, a liaison for the association and a former state representative.

“The idea behind it is that we talk to children about stranger danger, internet safety, fire drills — a number of different dangers they need to be education about that they come across in life, so why not gun safety?” he said.

But some argued that requiring a particular curriculum course would represent an overreach by state government into decisions that should be made by local school boards.

“Our opposition certainly isn’t about gun training or safety training,” said Rob Gilligan, government relations specialist with the Kansas Association of School Boards. “As many of our conferees testified before, gun and safety training already occurs in Kansas schools.”

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Information from: The Topeka (Kan.) Capital-Journal, http://www.cjonline.com

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