Missouri schools will be encouraged to teach first-graders a gun safety course sponsored by the National Rifle Association as a result of legislation signed Friday by Gov. Jay Nixon.
According to Fox News, the new law stops short of requiring schools to teach the Eddie Eagle Gunsafe Program, but by putting it into state law, Missouri provides one of the stronger state-sanctioned endorsements of the NRA-sponsored firearms safety course. The NRA says the course is taught to about 1 million children annually.
The legislation also requires school personnel to participate in an “active shooter and intruder” drill led by law enforcement officers, the article says.
The training (for both staff and students) was initially proposed as mandatory until the Sandy Hook massacre, when the provision about first-grade gun-safety courses was amended to make them optional.
The legislation also transfers the responsibility for issuing ID cards for concealed gun permits from driver’s license clerks to local sheriffs amid concerns about privacy rights.
The Eddie Eagle program includes a video in which an eagle character teaches children four basic rules for if they see a gun: Stop. Don’t Touch. Leave the Area. Tell an Adult.