New law allows Missouri schools to teach gun safety to first-graders

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

A new measure that advocates for such classes for first-graders was signed into law last week. But the idea has prompted worry from some parents and experts about the role and effectiveness of gun safety programs in a classroom setting.

"I don't have a gun. My family doesn't have a gun. There is no reason for them to be teaching about gun safety when there are children with parents like me," Aimee Patton, a Kansas City blogger and mom to a 6-year-old girl, told CNN in a phone interview.

Though her child attends school in Kansas, Patton has been openly critical of the bill in her blog, Pleasantly Eccentric, since the legislation was introduced one day before the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting last December. Twenty children -- all of them first-graders -- and six adults were killed at the Newtown, Connecticut, school by a lone gunman.

The measure signed Friday by Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon is part of the larger public safety bill HCS/SB 75. It encourages schools to teach gun safety to first-graders through courses such as the National Rifle Association's "Eddie Eagle" Gunsafe Program.

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