A Republican state senator in Missouri has introduced a bill that would require all first grade students to take a gun course provided by the National Rifle Association.
State Sen. Dan Brown on Tuesday told the Senate General Laws Committee that his bill bringing the NRA’s Eddie Eagle Gunsafe Program to every elementary school was an effort to teach children how to react if they encounter an unsecured firearm. Brown had first introduced the bill one day before 20 students were gunned down at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut.
Some Missouri schools already use the NRA program, but Brown aims to make it a universal requirement.
“I hate mandates as much as anyone, but some concerns and conditions rise to the level of needing a mandate,” he explained to the committee.
The bill would also require that teachers take eight hours of training on how to respond to armed school intruders. Thanks to a grant from the NRA, the student training would be provided to the state at no cost. However, training the teachers was expected to cost around $16 million.
Democratic state Sen. Jamilah Nasheed said that she would be willing to support the bill, but wanted an exemption for her district.
“I think we should be teaching kids to read, write and do math,” Nasheed said.