Gun Safety Classes May Be Coming to Wisconsin Schools

A recently introduced piece of legislation would require the state's public schools to offer the classes as an elective to support growing interest in trap shooting.

A recently introduced piece of legislation would require the state's public schools to offer the classes as an elective to support growing interest in trap shooting.
A recently introduced piece of legislation would require the state's public schools to offer the classes as an elective to support growing interest in trap shooting. photo from guns.comweb photo

A proposal from Republicans in the Wisconsin state legislature would see public schools in the state offer gun safety training as an elective class, according to this story from guns.com.

Specifically, the bill would move the state Department of Public Instruction to develop a firearm education course for Wisconsin high school students, the story says.

Proponents of the measure say it would be a benefit to the growing student interest in scholastic shooting sports.

"As more and more students get involved in clay target and action shooting clubs and associations while in school, it's important to ensure that these students become more responsible in understanding firearm safety and mechanics," said sponsor, state Rep. Ken Skowronski, R-Franklin, in a statement.

In this story from jsonline.com Skowronski says the classes would promote gun safety and to boost participation in trap shooting.

The bill, AB 427 (which you can read in full here) would direct state education officials to work with a number of organizations to develop a gun safety curriculum to be delivered by certified firearm instructors, the story says.

The story says the Wisconsin Scholastic Clay Target Program saw 1,400 shooters from 62 teams attend the state championship in January of this year, and 400 Wisconsin athletes are attending the WCTP Nationals in Ohio this week, a pipeline for Olympic shotgun competitors.

The program has over 3,500 shooters across 115 teams in the state, ranging from 5th grade through college.

If the bill eventually passes into law, a curriculum would have to be developed for the 2017-2018 school year, the jsonline.com story says.

The classes would have to be taught in conjunction with the Department of Natural Resources, a law enforcement agency, or an organization that specializes in firearm safety or firearm certification, the story says.

The story says school superintendents across the state have expressed dissatisfaction over the bill, mostly because of funding concerns

In the story Fran Finco, superintendent at the Onalaska School District, said despite being a gun owner and hunter, he doesn't see a need for such a class in schools.

"While I believe hunter safety and gun education is important ... one more unfunded requirement to teach something in our schools is not necessary, nor would we have time to fit it into our curriculum without dropping something else," he said in the story.

The Kettle Moraine School District also has a trap shooting club, but trains its students outside school.

"I do not see a need to offer this type of training as part of a student's instructional day," said Superintendent Patricia F. Deklotz in the story. "We have successfully offered gun safety training as part of our community education offerings for many, many years."