New legislation in the state legislature would ban marksmanship and shooting programs in New York state.
The law, currently in committee, would allow classes to teach safe firearm use and hunting practices, but would ban students from using guns and prohibit any firearms from being discharged on school grounds.
It would also ban schools from offering marksmanship and shooting programs including: “Proficiency tests of accuracy, precision and speed in using 20 various types of ranged weapons, such as firearms and air guns… Handguns, rifles and shotguns and/or bows or crossbows.”
George Granger with the Middlesex Conservation Club said he often teaches students from school groups how to shoot and doesn’t agree with the proposed change.
“I don’t think any of the kids that shoot here will ever cause a problem with guns. It’s safer than cheerleading, softball and other sports because of the supervision,” he said.
In a statement, the bill’s sponsor, Linda Rosenthal, told News 8:
“No matter where you live, teaching a young person to use a deadly firearm while at school is not an appropriate use of taxpayer resources. Schools are intended to equip our children to become the leaders of tomorrow, not to become trained shooters before they are old enough to legally purchase a gun. “Nikolas Cruz, who viciously murdered 17 people at his high school in Parkland, FL, this year, learned how to use a gun at an NRA-funded program run through his school. The NRA and gun lobby use these programs to cultivate gun owners of tomorrow, and this is simply unacceptable in our public schools.”
For students in the Naples School District, Superintendent Matthew Frahm said it would take away their archery program and a proposal for a clay target team they were considering.
He said programs like that give kids in the district a chance to connect and belong to a group.
“It’s a group of kids that don’t participate in team sports, for the most part, and it was a way they thought they could really engage.”
The legislation would have to be approved in committee before moving forward for further votes.