Lawmaker Defends Bill Requiring Gun Education for First Graders

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JEFFERSON CITY - Senator Dan Brown, R-Rolla, stressed that his bill requiring schools to provide gun education programs for students isn't about teaching children to handle guns.

In a news conference Wednesday, Brown explained that the six-minute NRA's "Eddie the Eagle" video is meant to instruct kindergarten through third grade students to avoid guns.

"I want to stress that this bill has nothing to do with teaching kids how to shoot or gun safety. It's a gun safe program," said Brown.

Brown filed his legislation one day before the Sandy Hook shootings.

Representative Stacey Newman, D-St. Louis, says teaching children about gun safety will do nothing to stop gun violence and may only "encourage them."

"This does nothing. Teaching first graders how to shoot and what to do if someone walks into their classroom is silly," said Newman.

Also included in the bill is a provision requiring teachers to take part in training course to deal with armed intruders.

Brown added that there would be no cost associated with airing the video in classrooms.

"Will this lead to firearms in schools? I don't know," said Brown.

The Senate General Laws committee heard the bill on Tuesday.