Arizona bill, if passed, would require students to learn about gun safety
PHOENIX - At the Arizona state capitol, some Republican lawmakers are trying to make it mandatory for Arizona students to learn gun safety in school.
This bill is about gun safety, not how to use a gun.
House Bill 2332 would require students between sixth grade and senior year of high school to learn about gun safety at least once. Parents would have the opportunity to opt out.
Rep. Selina Bliss of Prescott sponsors the bill and explains why she reintroduced Rep. Quang Nguyen's bill that died last year.
"It failed by one vote in our caucus and I said to him, 'You know, I'm a female, I'm a mom, I'm a nurse, I'm an educator, let me give a different perspective to this," she said.
The bill would require students to take a 30 minute to 1-hour session that is preapproved by a well established group, leaving the decision of when the course is taken up to the school.
The course also wouldn't necessarily have to be taught by teachers.
"You can bring in the preapproved educators. It can be volunteers, retired law enforcement," she explained.
The reason is so students learn this material in a safe place, not through social media or gaming.
"We use what are called ‘prop guns.’ They're rubber, so you can actually simulate what would I do if I was at a neighbor's house, because that's where most firearms are discovered and accidental discharges occur," Bliss said.
HB 2332 passed along party lines in the House. Some lawmakers had a strong ‘no’ at the last hearing.
United States Army veteran, Rep. Stacey Travers of Tempe says it is not the schools responsibility and should not be enforced in schools. The money should be used elsewhere, she said.
"I will tell you, "I would be a U.S. Army sniper, but it was closed to women when I served," Travers said. "I do not think that any dollars should be spent in any school to allow any kind of training for gun safety or gun control."
This bill is now headed to the Senate. If the Senate passes this bill, then it will head to the governor's desk.
FOX 10 reached out to Arizona Governor Katie Hobbs but have not heard back.
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