Idaho Rejects Gun-Safety Courses in Public Schools

Elementary school-aged Project Appleseed students learn gun safety, marksmanship, and civics. Image via Zombie Shooters.

On Tuesday, Idaho’s House Education Committee decided to reject House Bill 240, which would allow public schools to offer gun safety as an elective. Under HB 240, the department of fish and game, a law enforcement agency or a firearms organization would teach the class.


From the bill’s text:

The board of trustees of a school district is encouraged to establish and maintain a firearms safety education course. The trustees may adopt an elective course of instruction developed by the department of fish and game, a law enforcement agency or a firearms association as its firearms safety education course. The course of instruction shall not permit the use or presence of live ammunition. Instructors from the department of fish and game, a law enforcement agency or a firearms organization as described in section 18 18-3302K(4)(c)(i), Idaho Code, shall be used to provide the instruction.

According to Rep. Ron Nate, the bill’s sponsor, 11 states have brought back gun safety courses for kids.

“Even if kids don’t have guns in their home, there’s a significant chance they will encounter them in the homes of their friends or in other situations. Teaching them the proper dangers and cautions will help keep them and their friends safe,” said Rep. Nate, in a legislative update. “Many gun safety programs also teach about active shooter situations and what to do.  This is valuable training for when and if such a horrible incident might occur in Idaho.


Rep. Nate used the NRA’s Eddie Eagle program as an example of what district’s could utilize. Under the program, kids are taught four basic rules:

This first step is crucial. Stopping first allows your child the time he or she needs to remember the rest of the safety instructions.

Don’t Touch.
A firearm that is not touched or disturbed is unlikely to be fired and otherwise endanger your child or other people.

Run Away
This removes the temptation to touch the firearm as well as the danger that another person may negligently cause it to fire.

Tell a Grown-Up
Children should seek a trustworthy adult, neighbor, relative or teacher – if a parent or guardian is not available.

The bill died in committee with a 9-6 vote.

Join the conversation as a VIP Member