Classroom

A new law proposed by State Representative Sean Scanlon would serve to strengthen wording on existing law regarding gun safety and law enforcement, mandating safe storage of both loaded and unloaded firearms, and mandating liability when there is a failure to do so and the firearms can be accessed by a minor under the age of 18.

The law is referred to as “Ethans Law” in honor of Ethan Song, a Guilford boy who died of a gunshot wound. The owners of the firearm avoided criminal prosecution as the gun was not kept loaded, something required by existing law, despite the bullets being stored close by.

The bill also changes existing law regarding firearm safety training. Current law states that the State Board of Education “may” develop a firearm safety curriculum for students. The new law proposed by Scanlon and co-signed by state senator Christine Cohen changes the “may” to “shall,” maintain the establishment of such a curriculum.

While the law would require the establishment of a curriculum by the State Board of Education, it does not mean it must be taught in each town in the state. Instead, each town, or each Board of Education, would decide if it wanted to include the curriculum in the local education system.

The question of firearm safety as part of school curriculum is not new. While the debate has often taken a political turn, there has often been bi-partisan support for the measure.

For example, William J. Piercy, assistant supervisor of staff development and health in Carroll County, Maryland, helped expand the training as part of health education almost two decades, with the curriculum developed as a collaboration with education and law enforcement officials, and with much support from the families of victims of gun violence or accidents.

Relevant articles: Baltimore Gun Safety Classes from 2000

Relevant article: Debate.org; Should Gun Safety be Taught in Schools?

For Scanlon, the addition of the measure in the CT proposal is an effort to bring all sides of the gun issue together. Typically, those pushing for more gun education has been proponents of gun rights, while opponents have pushed gun restrictions. “Ethan’s Law” would include both aspects: while it does not mandate any town include gun safety training, it makes the path to such training easier by having an established curriculum, and at the same time makes gun responsibility a larger priority for gun owners, increasing liability for how a firearm may be stored.

But local school boards would have a series of decisions to make, and would likely face significant public input. What ages would be taught? Who would teach it? Can parents their children out of the program?

By mandating the state Board of Education develop a curriculum, it keeps educators in charge of what is taught, and avoids what could be different programs for each town in the state, creating a uniform program statewide for towns that wish to use it.

Where do you stand? Below is a series of poll questions on the issue, please take a moment to be heard and we will forward the results to state legislators. For additional remarks, please use the comment below.

Should Gun Safety Be Taught in Schools?

A new proposed law would allow local Boards of Education to decide if they wanted to implement curriculum on gun safety in their towns. Would you like to see gun safety training in your town?

You voted:

What Age is Appropriate for Gun Safety Education in Schools

A new proposed law would allow local Boards of Education to decide if they wanted to implement curriculum on gun safety in their towns. What age group would this be appropriate for?

You voted:

Would you opt your child out of the firearm safety education in your school?

A new proposed law would allow local Boards of Education to decide if they wanted to implement curriculum on gun safety in their towns. If adopted in your town, would you opt your child out of the program?

You voted:

(14) comments

Guest

Let's clears some of the fog about this incident. This boy who was killed by a firearm, took an unloaded firearm, loaded it, pointed it at his head and pulled the trigger. This was not a young child but a teenager who only needs to walk down to his schools nurse and get free condoms. You can't write enough laws to prevent people from doing stupid things.

Guest

There is no legislation that can cure stupid.

Guest

Problem is the left wing education system will not adopt this, instead this is a vailed attempt at feel good legislation. No one has published the full bill and the language about penalties for law abiding gun owners. No amount of regulation can mandate common sense!

Guest

they're only throwing in the firearm safety training as a bone to try to get their real agenda passed, Making lawful gun owners into criminals so they can ban all guns. they have no intention of actually teaching children gun safety because the NRA is evil.

gobballfan

Drugs and car accidents both kill more teenagers than guns do. How about we stress those 2 areas first? Every kid has almost a 100% chance of having a drug or car available to them during high school. How many really have accessibility to a gun? Or maybe a life skills class that can cover everything throughout the school year. So tired of what isn't taught anymore. If it's not on a standardized test then the schools really have no interest.

Peter Black

Most of all I learned gun safety at age six on the rifler range at summer camp. Most of us got a BB gun at age six, and a pellet gun or .22 at about age twelve. Today, it seems both the pro and anti-gun forces have imbued firearms with mythical qualities. For one side, the gun is a symbol of power and freedom, for the other an inherently dangerous object, imbued with evil as if inert objects could have spirits. Proper gun safety education would demythologize guns, making them less of an icon and more just a tool.

Pat Santoro

The Connecticut legislature have been trying to overturn the 2nd Amendment for years.Giving children gun lessons is ludicrous.The parents should be in control of this issue.Let's continue to educate our children in the basics.Let the legislature fix the mess they created in this state,should be first on the agenda.The only solution they seem to come up with is more taxes and fines.

Guest

Most Teachers and Principals are Sheep and will never allow students to learn how to properly use a gun and gun safety....They are Liberal Commie Democrats who are afraid of their own shadow....USA will be gone in 100 years when the Chinese take us over....the population is weak and scared of their own shadows and worse scared of taking a stand for themselves and gun safety. They think they are saving the planet driving a prius and having their own grocery bag but won't even save their or a students life by getting gun safety training...and btw a prius causes more harm to "mother earth" than gas cars!...HOW you ask...the batteries dummy!...all the toxic batteries go to land fill and destroy mother earth and don't get me started about solar panels (but no one talks about these issue for prius and solar panels makes people feel good but no one looks at the long term when prius and solar panels get junked to the curb....hahhahahahahahahahahahaha

Gun Free Zone basically says come get me I am not defended and I am weak. Every Teacher should carry a gun but will never happen

IS

Guest

This person needs some serious help

Guest

People just talk past each other without listening to anyone else so often on this issue.

First of all, what is a "gun"? To the left, it is a handgun/pistol used in commission of a crime. To the right, it is either a hunting rifle used primarily to obtain food, or a locked-away handgun used to protect one's home from home invasion. Both "sides" have good reasons for their beliefs, and it would be a great start if each side acknowledged the other side's concerns.

I find the left a bit hypocritical on the subject: the loudest voices in favor of gun "control" are protected by armed guards who will retain their guns no matter what other restrictions are imposed on the rest of us.

Guest

I worry that the proposed legislation is a "Trojan horse": what they call gun safety training could far too easily be turned into anti-gun propaganda from people who don't really know what they are talking about.

If gun safety training includes taking children to the shooting range so that they actually know how to USE a gun safely, great! I'm all for that.

Wyoming has the highest gun/resident ratio and the lowest incidence of gun crime/resident. Nearly every child in Wyoming learns first-hand how to use a gun safely from a young age. Most public rec centers have a shooting range.

Like it or not, the 2nd Amendment protects our right to keep and bear arms. If you don't like it, fine, petition to pass a new Constitutional Amendment. Please stop trying to subvert the Constitution through subterfuge.

Repression of any unpopular religion may well follow; already several prominent national Democrats are openly proclaiming that no Catholic should be allowed to be a federal judge based solely on their religion.

Sailsalot

By all means, institute a gun safety program in our schools. Make sure the program is not run by anti-gun educators who will import politics into a safety program. Allow people who are familiar with firearms to conduct the safety training. Remember: These safety programs will suffer from the same failure rate as other programs such as drug and alcohol abuse courses now offered in our schools. A gun safety program will help but, It will not prevent stupid or irresponsible students from harming themselves.

Guest

Great! Sex education is a must have companion class with a class debunking religeon fraud and focusing on the severe dangers of close contact with the curse of priests.

Sailsalot

Please learn how to write a literate sentence.

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