Bill would encourage gun safety courses in Idaho schools

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An Idaho legislator wants the state's public high schools to offer gun safety courses as electives, KBOI reported.

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 Rep. Ronald Nate of Rexburg said the idea behind House Bill 240 is to teach students about "responsible gun ownership" and how to react when seeing a weapon.

"We're just talking about guns and gun safety, we're not getting into marksmanship and gun clubs or anything like that," Nate told KBOI.

The bill proposed by Nate, who is a professor of economics at BYU-Idaho in Rexburg, is still in its early stages and has not had a hearing yet. According to the bill, the course would be developed by the Idaho Department of Fish and Game, a law enforcement agency, or a firearms association.

The guns in the classes would be real, but the ammo would be absent, KBOI reported.

Cindy Pratt Carrell, who manages Impact Guns in Boise, says she likes the idea.
"I think education is a great idea," Carrell told KBOI. "And bringing it into the schools makes it more available; it's not an after school event that parents would have to schedule for."
However, she's concerned about who would teach the courses.
"That would be the only thing that concerns me particularly — and what the criteria would be," she said.
Nate stressed that the course would be an elective.
"The kids don't have to sign up for it," he told KBOI. "The school board can be sensitive to those issues and that's why we're leaving the decision-making at the school board level, because they're elected by their citizens."

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