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Bill to Teach Gun Safety to Students Heads to Gov. Herbert's Desk

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State lawmakers gave final approval to a bill that would allow public schools to provide firearm safety training to students.

Senate Bill 43 creates a pilot program that would provide opt-in gun safety training to students in public schools. The program would teach students not to touch a gun if they find one at school or at home, and to immediately alert an adult.

Rep. Dan McCay presented the bill to the House, getting emotional as he talked about a teenage boy who lived near him. The boy found his parents’ gun and accidently shot and killed his friend.

“The first boy, in complete disparity, turned the gun on himself in shame for what he had done,” he said. “We lost two good young men that day.”

McCay said that if the teens had learned proper gun safety and not touched the weapon, they might still be alive.

Republican Rep. Ken Ivory voted against the measure. He cited concerns that teachers and parents might try to politicize a hot issue like firearms.

“How do we keep it from going to one side of the political extreme or the other?” Ivory asked.

McCay said the bill’s language is explicit in directing teachers to provide politically neutral instruction. He said it’s likely the state school board will produce a video to show in classrooms.

Senate Bill 43 passed the House by a vote of 55-16. It now heads to Governor Gary Herbert’s desk for his signature.

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