Kansas Senate Passes Firearms Safety Education Bill
- By Matt Jones
- April 14, 2021
The Kansas Senate recently passed a bill that would promote firearm education and safety training among K-12 students in the state. The bill would require the Kansas State Board of Education to develop a curriculum for a gun safety education program. Individual districts and school boards would have the choice to adopt the program in local schools.
The program, based on the NRA’s Eddie Eagle GunSafe program, could be introduced to students as early as Kindergarten. Older students would have the option of the school’s program or the hunter education program from the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks, and Tourism.
The bill’s supporters say that students are (or will become) familiar with firearms anyway, and teaching the right methods of handling them can work to their benefit. “If you see a gun, walk away, go tell an adult. Let them know so you’re not handling the gun. I think that’s very important to teach young,” said Sen. Richard Hilderbrand (R-Galena).
Opponents, however, claim that educating young children isn’t enough to solve the overall problem of gun violence in the U.S. “We can come together on common-sense measures like gun locks, and I think that would prevent tragedies much more than education,” said Sen. Dinah Sykes (D-Lenexa).
The bill returns to the Kansas House of Representatives for a final vote before the state governor can sign it into law.