Firearm safety could become high school course under proposed Utah bill

Local Politics

UTAH (ABC4) – A proposed bill would create a high school course in Utah to teach “the safe handling of firearms.”

House Bill 258, sponsored by Representative Rex Shipp (R-Cedar City), would create a pilot program to provide a firearm safety course in Utah’s public schools, if passed. It would be a three-year program for grades 9 through 12.

The bill’s text says it would require a local education agency to contract with a provider to supply materials and cirriculum for the pilot program or develope cirriculum for the pilot program. H.B. 258 would also require the State Board of Education to select local education agencies to participate in the pilot program, award grants to participating LEAs for cirriculum and supplies, and make rules, including rules establishing qualifications for instructors.

According to the bill, which is sponsored on the floor by Senator Jacob Anderegg (R-Salt Lake), the program would provide a one-semester, half credit physical education course in the safe handling of firearms.

Rules outline in H.B. 258 include teaching the state laws governing firearms, suicide prevention, and the basic operations of firearms. The course may include the use of a non-firing replica firearm and may not include the use of a firearm on or near school premises.

Further, students would not be able to discharge a firearm unless they are accompanied by a qualified instructor at a shooting range.

With approval from the Division of Wildlife Resources, the bill states a student could receive a certificate of completion for the hunter education course through this class.

Up to three local education agencies could be selected to participate in the pilot program.

H.B. 258 passed in the House by a 47-21-7 vote on Friday. As of Monday, it has been introduced in the Senate.

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 Glen is honored to be delivering the news of the day every weeknight at 5, 6, and 10 in his home state. He is an award-winning veteran journalist, who joined the ABC4 News team as a weekend anchor in June 2013. Over the years, he held various positions at the station as he worked his way up to the main anchor chair. He also serves as our Senior Political Correspondent and hosts Inside Utah Politics, which airs every Sunday. The Utah Headliners Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists has recognized Glen as the best government and military television reporter in the state. Before returning home to Utah, he spent 11 1/2 years developing his journalism skills in other states. He held various on-air and management positions at KPVI in Pocatello, Idaho, WGBA in Green Bay, Wisconsin, and KKCO in Grand Junction, Colorado during that time. Read More...