SCHOOL KIDS TO “SHOOT” FOR DIPLOMA

Governor Signs Bill, Teaches Actual Gun Safety

"Educating kids on the constitutional roots of the right to keep and bear arms."

For Immediate Release
April 12, 2005

Arizona has enacted a gun-safety bill for children that breaks new ground. Worth one credit toward a high school diploma, the course requires students to safely discharge a firearm at a target to pass. American high schools used to have firing ranges in the basement, but the tradition began fading in the late 1960s. Gun-rights proponents believe that training and education leads to increased safety and responsible behavior.

The bill’s designers, concerned that “gun safety” could be turned into “gun avoidance” by gun-control politics, included statutory rules like the “shoot safely” requirement, to prevent unintended change. Other requirements include: Instruction in the role of firearms in preserving peace and freedom; the constitutional roots of the right to keep and bear arms; the history of firearms and marksmanship; the basic operation of firearms; practice time at a shooting range, and more.

The Arizona Game and Fish Dept. (AGFD), specified by law as the course instructors, are discussing the specifics of the curriculum. AGFD has currently trained more than 18,000 school students in archery, a shooting sport, and are pleased with the final version of the bill, which they supported.

The law began as an idea and rough draft from Bloomfield Press publisher Alan Korwin, who asked, “Why don’t we make marksmanship a requirement for a high school diploma? We know many kids get no gun-safety training, and marksmanship teaches responsibility, improves concentration, and affects national preparedness.” Because a required course would have budget implications and likely sink the bill, State Senator Karen Johnson introduced the class as an elective. It sailed through the Senate unanimously, and through the House by a veto-proof nearly three-to-one margin. Governor Janet Napolitano signed it into law on April 11 (the text follows).

One television reporter, obviously nervous about providing such education, asked, “Don’t you think kids will rush to line up just so they can get a chance to go shooting?” Without hesitating Korwin replied, “If it’s that popular, and kids get all that safety training and experience, that would be a good thing.”

See the current draft of the curriculum:
http://www.azgfd.gov/pdfs/outdoor_recreation/ben_avery/AZGunSafetyProgram.pdf

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Fox National TV News interviews Alan Korwin
live on this unique high school program,
video and transcript, see it here

Second FOX program was produced and is also posted, here.

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Bloomfield Press is the largest publisher of gun law books in the country, founded in 1989. Gun Laws of America (unabridged guide to federal gun law) for police department and news media review is free on request, call 1-800-707-4020. The author is available for interview, call us to schedule. Download hi-rez mini-cover art from our website, click Media Services. Call for cogent positions on gun issues, informed analysis on proposed laws, talk radio that lights up the switchboard, fact sheets and position papers. As we always say, “It doesn’t make sense to own a gun and not know the rules.”

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ARIZONA STATE SENATE BILL 1271 (2005)

Enacted 4/11/05

Be it enacted by the Legislature of the State of Arizona:
Section 1. Title 15, chapter 7, article 1, Arizona Revised Statutes,
is amended by adding section 15-714.01, to read:

15-714.01. Arizona Gun Safety Program Course

A. IN ADDITION TO THE VOLUNTARY TRAINING IN THE USE OF BOWS AND FIREARMS PRESCRIBED IN SECTIONS 15-713 AND 15-714, EACH SCHOOL DISTRICT AND CHARTER SCHOOL MAY OFFER AS AN ELECTIVE COURSE A ONE-SEMESTER COURSE IN FIREARM MARKSMANSHIP THAT SHALL BE DESIGNATED AS THE ARIZONA GUN SAFETY PROGRAM COURSE.

B. A PUPIL SHALL BE DEEMED TO HAVE SATISFACTORILY COMPLETED THE ARIZONA GUN SAFETY PROGRAM COURSE BY DEMONSTRATING THAT THE PUPIL HAS THE ABILITY TO SAFELY DISCHARGE A FIREARM.

C. THE COURSE OF INSTRUCTION PRESCRIBED IN THIS SECTION SHALL BE JOINTLY DEVELOPED BY THE ARIZONA GAME AND FISH COMMISSION, THE DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC SAFETY AND PRIVATE FIREARMS ORGANIZATIONS AND MAY INCLUDE MATERIALS PROVIDED BY PRIVATE YOUTH ORGANIZATIONS. AT A MINIMUM, THE ARIZONA GUN SAFETY PROGRAM COURSE SHALL INCLUDE:

1. INSTRUCTION ON THE RULES OF GUN SAFETY.

2. INSTRUCTION ON THE BASIC OPERATION OF FIREARMS.

3. INSTRUCTION ON THE HISTORY OF FIREARMS AND MARKSMANSHIP.

4. INSTRUCTION ON THE ROLE OF FIREARMS IN PRESERVING PEACE AND FREEDOM.

5. INSTRUCTION ON THE CONSTITUTIONAL ROOTS OF THE RIGHT TO KEEP AND BEAR ARMS.

6. INSTRUCTION ON THE USE OF CLAY TARGETS.

7. PRACTICE TIME AT A SHOOTING RANGE.

8. DEMONSTRATION OF COMPETENCE WITH A FIREARM.

D. SCHOOL DISTRICTS AND CHARTER SCHOOLS SHALL ARRANGE FOR ADEQUATE USE OF SHOOTING RANGE TIME BY PUPILS IN THE ARIZONA GUN SAFETY PROGRAM COURSE AT ANY ESTABLISHED SHOOTING RANGE.

E. PUPILS WHO SATISFACTORILY COMPLETE THE ARIZONA GUN SAFETY PROGRAM COURSE SHALL RECEIVE A CERTIFICATE OF ACCOMPLISHMENT.

F. INSTRUCTORS SHALL BE CERTIFIED BY THE ARIZONA GAME AND FISH DEPARTMENT.

G. NOTHING IN THIS SECTION SHALL BE CONSTRUED TO LIMIT OR EXPAND THE LIABILITY OF ANY PERSON UNDER OTHER PROVISIONS OF LAW.

[Note that some draft improvements to the bill are being considered,
to ensure that only real firearms are suitable for the program, avoid attempts
to water down the class with toy, facsimile, BB, air or other non-guns,
remove any discretionary foot dragging on who is qualified to teach the program,
and for other purposes. Details will be posted here when any changes are introduced.]

January 7, 2010 UPDATE:

One section is missing from the current curriculum and should be added soon, see it here:
"The Role of Firearms in Preserving Peace and Freedom"

Amended language has been introduced:

Several people have asked for changes to the Arizona Gun Safety program in Jan. 2010.
Here's my take. (This has since been introduced by Sen. Sylvia Allen).

The changes noted below are essential because:

a) There have been suggestions to hold the class without using real firearms. That defeats the whole purpose as true Second Amendment instruction. Air guns and other non-guns can be the subject of another program if desired, or included here in a support capacity, as long as use of real guns is required;

b) There have been reports of foot dragging on the part of AGFD and schools for identifying exactly who is qualified to teach the class. The qualifications need to be automatic and not dependent on arbitrary, capricious or bureaucratic controls;

c) Any effort to eliminate portions of the program (elements 4 and 5 below are written but omitted from the curriculum as posted by AGFD), and thus weaken or misdirect the intent of the training must be disallowed. Nothing in the bill prevents any entity from running any other sort of training under other auspices if desired; and

d) It must be explicit that this elective class counts for credit toward a high school diploma.

Alan.

 

Delete in red
ADD IN UNDERLINED BLUE CAPS
(note the hyphenation in paragraph "A" for "one-semester",
and the replacement of periods with commas in the 8-item list.)

 

Be it enacted by the Legislature of the State of Arizona:
Section 1.  Section 15-714.01, Arizona Revised Statutes, is amended to read:

15-714.01.  Arizona gun safety program course

A.  In addition to the voluntary training in the use of bows and firearms prescribed in sections 15-713 and 15-714, each ANY school district, and charter school, PUBLIC SCHOOL, PRIVATE SCHOOL, PAROCHIAL SCHOOL, MAGNET SCHOOL OR HOME SCHOOL, may offer as an elective course a one-semester ONE-CREDIT course in firearm marksmanship that shall be designated as the Arizona gun safety program course.

B.  A pupil shall be deemed to have satisfactorily completed the Arizona gun safety program course by demonstrating that the pupil has the ability to safely discharge a firearm AS DEFINED IN A.R.S. §13-3101.

C.  The course of instruction prescribed in this section shall be jointly developed by the Arizona game and fish commission, the department of public safety and private firearms organizations and may include materials provided by private youth organizations.  At a minimum, the Arizona gun safety program course shall include EACH OF THESE ELEMENTS:

1.  Instruction on the rules of gun safety.,
2.  Instruction on the basic operation of firearms.,
3.  Instruction on the history of firearms and marksmanship.,
4.  Instruction on the role of firearms in preserving peace and freedom.,
5.  Instruction on the constitutional roots of the right to keep and bear arms.,
6.  Instruction on the use of clay targets.,
7.  Practice time at a shooting range., AND
8.  ACTUAL demonstration BY THE PUPIL of competence with a firearm AS DEFINED IN A.R.S. §13-3101.

D.  School districts and charter schools A PARTICIPATING SCHOOL OR SCHOOL DISTRICT shall arrange for adequate use of shooting range time by pupils in the Arizona gun safety program course at any established shooting range.

E.  Pupils who satisfactorily complete the Arizona gun safety program course shall receive a certificate of accomplishment.

F.  Instructors shall be certified by the Arizona game and fish department or by a national association of firearms owners the national rifle association of America.
F. A PERSON WHO HOLDS FIREARMS TRAINING CERTIFICATION FROM THE ARIZONA GAME AND FISH DEPARTMENT OR THE NATIONAL RIFLE ASSOCIATION IS QUALIFIED TO TEACH THE ARIZONA GUN SAFETY PROGRAM COURSE.

G.  Nothing in this section shall be construed to limit or expand the liability of any person under other provisions of law.

 

ALTERNATE FOR PARAGRAPH “F” REQUESTED BY MS. ALLEN and others:

F. A PERSON WHO HOLDS FIREARMS TRAINING CERTIFICATION FROM THE ARIZONA GAME AND FISH DEPARTMENT, THE NATIONAL RIFLE ASSOCIATION, A BONA FIDE POLICE DEPARTMENT, STATE POLICE DEPARTMENT, U.S. MILITARY BRANCH, FEDERAL AGENCY, THE RESERVE OFFICER TRAINING CORPS, THE JUNIOR RESERVE OFFICER TRAINING CORPS, OR THE CIVILIAN MARKSMANSHIP PROGRAM, OR FROM A NATIONALLY RECOGNIZED PRIVATE FIREARMS TRAINING ORGANIZATION IN BUSINESS FOR AT LEAST TEN YEARS, IS QUALIFIED TO TEACH THE ARIZONA GUN SAFETY PROGRAM COURSE.

 

It was also suggested adding this after "home school" in paragraph (A): PRIVATE OR PUBLIC COLLEGE OR UNIVERSITY, COMMUNITY COLLEGE OR TRADE SCHOOL.

 

Link to the curriculum as it currently stands on the AZGF website
http://www.azgfd.gov/pdfs/outdoor_recreation/ben_avery/AZGunSafetyProgram.pdf

Link to the missing curriculum section “The Role of Firearms in Preserving Peace and Freedom”

The currently shallow curriculum section on “The Constitutional Roots of the Right to Keep and Bear Arms” is supposed to be replaced by Dave Hardy’s book content: “Origins and Development of the Second Amendment,” for which I have the file and permission to include.

Link to initial press release, FOX-TV national news coverage, and the original bill language:
http://www.gunlaws.com/HighSchoolMarksmanship.htm

 

 

 

 

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