EDUCATION

Utah lawmaker to bring back bill proposing high school gun safety classes

Jul 20, 2021, 6:00 AM
a person holds a gun, experts urge gun safety after increased gun deaths...
FILE PHOTO: experts still say the number of gun deaths and gun suicide is a big concern. (University of Utah)
(University of Utah)

CEDAR CITY, Utah — Utah Rep. Rex Shipp (R-Cedar City) is considering running a bill proposing gun safety classes in some public high schools during next year’s legislative session. Shipp sponsored a similar bill during the 2021 session, but it failed to pass the Senate. 

A self-proclaimed lifelong gun owner, Shipp says learning how to safely handle a firearm is crucial in a state where guns are so prevalent. 

“If they’re handled safely, they’re as safe as can be,” Shipp explains. “I’ve handled firearms since I was a small child, and was taught by my father and brothers, and we’ve had some great experiences with shooting and hunting.” 

Shipp tells KSL TV such classes might have prevented an accidental fatal shooting of a teenager over the weekend in West Jordan, but there’s no way to be sure. 

“I’m assuming these teenagers did not have proper training on how to safely handle a firearm,” says Shipp. 

The bill proposes a 3-year pilot program in some schools using a plastic replica, and the gun safety class would be taught as an elective. 

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Utah lawmaker to bring back bill proposing high school gun safety classes