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New bill would allow schools to teach gun safety classes

A new bill being floated by Republican lawmakers in Madison would give schools the option of teaching gun safety classes.

Proponents of the bill say there's a growing interest in shooting sports in high schools and they want kids to be properly trained.

"The shooting sports are expanding exponentially in high schools. Kids are interested in getting off the couch and getting away from the video games and doing something that's enjoyable and safe. Why shouldn't we allow them to have the potential opportunity that if they're going to handle firearms they know how to do it in a safe manner," said Rep. Joel Kleefisch.

The bill was introduced at the end of June.

Lawmakers say the course would teach students how to safely use and carry a gun.

No live ammunition would be allowed on school grounds. The course would be an elective and school districts would have the option of offering it.

However, the bill requires the State Education Officials to create the curriculum and have it looked over by the Department of Natural Resources.

It's something critics say the state simply does not have the money to do.

"It kind of doesn't have a point right now because we don't even have a budget in place for the upcoming school year, so our school districts don't know exactly how many resources they can count on to even pay for basic education needs. Before we put more burden on our school districts, to continue to provide mandates, let's be sure that we give them the resources that they need," said State Rep. David Bowen.

In 2014, Michigan passed similar legislation. North Carolina is considering a similar bill as well.

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