Oregon advocate pushes for firearm education in the schools

AP Photo/Jeff Chiu

Oregon has been a powderkeg when it comes to legislation pertaining to firearms. Here at Bearing Arms, we covered the grossly unconstitutional ballot initiative 114 last year, and while it was hotly debated, 114 did prevail in the public opinion. That measure does very little to add to the public safety and welfare of Oregonians. However, there are actual initiatives being suggested which will have a marked positive effect. Gun rights advocate and head of a youth firearms safety organization, Derek LeBlanc, has ushered a proposed bill into the hands of legislators. House Bill 3118 would enable public schools to offer lifesaving firearm awareness education to first graders.


LeBlanc is the founder and president of Kids S.A.F.E. Foundation. The organization is geared towards teaching the important steps children should follow if they find a firearm. The group not only teaches young children how to react to finding a firearm, but it also will educate older kids on marksmanship and firearm safety.

Back in 2019 LeBlanc worked on a similar bill. While the measure did have bipartisan support, it died in committee. LeBlanc is back to working with his contacts at the statehouse and gave bill text that he authored to Representative Osborne for introduction.

From the text of HB 3118:

Be It Enacted by the People of the State of Oregon:

SECTION  1. (1) Each school district and public charter school may provide a firearm safety and accident prevention class to students in the first grade. The class may be offered each  school  term  of  the  school  year  for  a  total  of  at  least  30  minutes.

(2)  The  class  must  be  taught  by  a  school  resource  officer,  a  law  enforcement  officer, a first responder or a person certified by a national firearms organization on the safe and proper use of firearms.

(3)  The  curriculum  of  the  class  must  include:

(a) The proper steps a student should take upon encountering an unsecured firearm;

(b) The differences between video game violence and real-life violence; and

(c) The dangers of confusing toy guns and real guns.

(4)  The  class must be nonpolitical and may not encourage or discourage possession or ownership of firearms.

(5) At no time may any real firearms or live ammunition be used or possessed during the Class.


There are further provisions in the bill that require parents to be notified at least seven days prior to any classes occurring, and they’re given the opportunity to opt their child out. It’s also written that the class shall be held during regularly scheduled recess, to allow those children who are opted out a place to go while the instruction is happening.

I reached out to LeBlanc about the bill and he’s enthusiastic about its introduction. He indicated that he learned a lot from the process back in 2019, and hopes that this new iteration of an education bill will get further on in the process with eventual passage.

Oregon HB 3118 is follow up legislation to SB 801 that I had introduced back in 2019. What this bill would do is that it would “authorize” our kids firearm safety program in all first graders, in the State of Oregon. When we ran my Senate Bill back in 2019 we started a national dialogue about bringing gun safety back into the schools. We take a tried and true approach to the safety of our kids because of our ability to present a “pro-safety” message that crosses all political divides that is truly designed for every child, not the ones with guns in their homes. Since our founding back in 2016 we have reached over 27,000 kids in five states and have taught them life saving skills on what to do if they ever come across an unsecured firearm. It is this experience that gave me the tools that I need to write a 1 page bill that is effective and turnkey that will save lives from day 1!!

Back in 2019 we started a national conversation and also received a public hearing as well. It was here that we made great progress and learned what direction those that would try to prevent life saving education because of fear would take. While SB 801 died in committee, it was a learning experience that helped lay the groundwork for where we are today with HB 3118. I want to sincerely thank Rep Osbourne for seeing the value in what I was trying to accomplish in regards to kids gun safety and becoming a sponsor. I look forward to working this bill through the Oregon Legislature on behalf of the kids of Oregon. ZERO firearm accidents is the only acceptable goal!!®


Stalwart and steadfast advocates and educators are exactly what we need to help preserve the Second Amendment. LeBlanc’s efforts are potentially lifesaving. While the subject of firearms, firearm ownership, and firearm use is fairly hot button, what’s not is keeping children safe. Even if a child does not have a swimming pool, we teach them about water safety. When it comes to firearms, it should be no different. We’ll be closely watching the progress of HB 3118 and will be checking back in with LeBlanc regularly on its status.

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