SALEM, OR (KPTV) - Along with reading and writing, first graders in Oregon public schools could also be learning about gun safety in the classroom.
That's what the Oregon legislature is proposing in a new bill.
The man who is spearheading this bill said it's about teaching kids what to do if they ever encounter a gun.
In short: "Stop, don't touch run away and tell and tell a grown-up."
Wednesday’s hearing in Salem discussed the possibility of Senate Bill 801.
The bill proposes that police officers who have undergone firearms training could teach students about how to stay safe around guns.
Supporters of the bill said kids often see gun violence in movies and video games and should understand how real the danger can be.
Derek Le Blanc, of Eugene, who founded the "Kids Safe Around Firearms Education Program" is behind the bill.
He said the class would stay away from politics and wouldn't encourage or discourage gun ownership, but rather would stick to the basics of safety.
“I’m not preaching pro-gun or anti-gun, it's a safety standpoint,” Le Blanc said. “Guns are everywhere, so it's important to show our kids what to do if they ever come across an unsecured one."
As for logistics, this bill would not require public schools to offer this class - it would simply make it available.
No actual guns would be ever brought into the classroom for this course
The course would be 30-minutes long and would only be offered once a year.
Kids would have the choice to opt out, and parents would be given a heads up.
Meanwhile, opponents argue that the focus should be put on gun-owners, instead of kids.
“The responsibility should not be left in the hands of first graders-- it's the adults who are around the child and who have guns-- it's their responsibility to make sure guns are stored safely,” Barbara Ross with League of Women Voters of Oregon said
The full bill can be viewed at this link: https://olis.leg.state.or.us/liz/2019R1/Measures/Overview/SB801.
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