Firearm Safety Classes in Public Schools?

Most anti-gun liberals don’t want any firearms on school campuses unless they are in the hands of trained security or law enforcement officers. While that sounds good, very few schools can afford to pay for fulltime armed protection.

Some states have passed laws to allow trained and certified teachers and school administers to carry concealed weapons on the campuses of public schools. I know that just north of me, Ohio passed such a law in early 2014 and in the first month of classes being offered to train and certify educators, they were flooded with more requests than the schools could handle. Their goal is to have as many armed faculty and staff in as many public schools as possible that are trained to handle a shooting incident like the one that happened at Newtown.

John Benner, President and Chief Instructor of Tactical Defense Institute in West Union, Ohio has been helping train a number of Ohio educators as well as other civilians, law enforcement, military and federal agency personnel. By July 2014, he had trained over 300 people including a lot of teachers and he’s only one of a number of licensed training facilities throughout the state. By November 2015, at least 40 school districts in Ohio has authorized educators to obtain training and licensing to carry concealed weapon at their schools.

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Now some Utah legislators want to take gun education and training even further by teaching firearm safety to public school students. State Senator Todd Weiler (R-Woods Cross) had introduced Senate Bill 43 – Firearm Safety and Violence Prevention in Public Schools. Currently, the bill calls for:

“Highlighted Provisions:


This bill:


▸     creates a pilot program to provide instruction to public school students in grade 8 on firearm safety and violence prevention;


▸     directs the Office of the Attorney General, in collaboration with the State Board of Education, to select a provider Ŝ→ [, through a request for proposals process,] ←Ŝ to supply materials and curriculum for the instruction to be provided under the pilot program;


▸     requires the Office of the Attorney General, in collaboration with the State Board of Education, to report on the pilot program to the Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice Interim Committee; and


▸     sunsets the pilot program on July 1, 2019.


Money Appropriated in this Bill:


This bill appropriates in fiscal year 2017:


▸     to the Attorney General – Attorney General, as a one-time appropriation:

  • from the General Fund, One-time, $75,000.”

Explaining his reason for introducing the firearm safety bill, Weiler stated:

“I’ve been working on this bill for some time. I was inspired to write it after I heard about an accidental shooting in Kaysville last year, when a girl was accidentally killed by her younger sister after school one day. With a bit more education, that’s a tragedy that can be avoided.”

In the 2015 legislative session, Senate Bill 43 was passed by a 25-3 vote but it was too late to send to the House for approval, requiring the bill to be re-introduced into the Senate again this year.

What I didn’t know was that Utah already has a program which has a firearm safety program offered to younger students, kindergarten through sixth grade. This program mainly teaches young people to avoid firearms. Weiler’s bill calls for more firearm safety lessons that go beyond the current program and grades. If SB 43 passes, there would likely be a pilot program in a few schools to determine the success.

Personally I believe wholeheartedly in teaching young people all about firearm safety only I would take it a step further, teaching them the proper way to handle a firearm to prevent accidental shootings. I would stress not only safety but respect for firearms.

I grew up with 2 older brothers and younger sister. There were always loaded weapons in the house and my parents taught us very early on where they were and when to touch, not touch and use them. My dad taught us to shoot at a very early age, I started at 4-years of age. Every lesson in shooting started and ended with safety and the do’s and don’ts of handling a firearm.

But back then we were also taught to honor, respect and obey our parents (Ex. 20:12; Ex. 21:15,17; Lev. 19-1-3; Deut. 5:16; Matt. 15:3-9; Rom. 1:28; Eph. 6:1-3; 2 Tim. 3:1-3) as well other adults, something that is greatly lacking in many of today’s families. We knew that if we ever touched any of the guns that dad would whip our butts good, and again, corporal discipline was an accepted learning tool, especially since it is biblically called for (Prov. 13:24) and now that I’m a father and grandfather, I value that discipline my dad gave us and wish it was still the norm in America today.

I hope and pray that Sen. Weiler is successful in getting his bill passed and signed into law. If it saves just one young life by properly educating them about firearms, then it will be well worth it as you can’t put a price on a young person’s life. They are precious gifts from God and should be cherished and protected at all costs.


Dave Jolly

R.L. David Jolly holds a B.S. in Wildlife Biology and an M.S. in Biology – Population Genetics. He has worked in a number of fields, giving him a broad perspective on life, business, economics and politics. He is a very conservative Christian, husband, father and grandfather who cares deeply for his Savior, family and the future of our troubled nation.

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