Bill on gun safety education in public schools heard in committee

HB 2460 on firearms safety programs in public schools would require the State Board of Education to adopt a curriculum program on gun safety based on the NRA Eddie Eagle program for grades K-8 and the Hunter Safety in Schools program developed by the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks & Tourism. 

While the bill heard before the House Federal and State Affairs Committee is permissive in nature, meaning districts could choose whether to participate, KASB spoke in opposition to it because of the prescriptive nature of determining and limiting the curriculum of gun safety training to these two programs only.  Here is a link to KASB’s testimony.  

While proponents outlined the virtues of the two programs, multiple legislators asked if there are currently any restrictions limiting districts from using those programs, which all agreed there are not. 

Additional concerns highlighted was language in the bill that said the curriculum must be offered to all students if districts elected to provide the programs, but was not clear in what way that would be interpreted.  Additional questions from legislators included why the bill would only be focused on public schools and not available to all schools accredited by the State Board of Education. 

The next step will be to see if the committee chair, state Rep. John Barker, R-Abilene, schedules the bill to be worked, with several possible amendments to be discussed. 

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