Newly introduced bill would create curriculum for gun safety classes in high schools

DENMARK, Wis. Wisconsin has more than 3,500 students and 115 teams in a national program for trap, skeet and clay shooting called the Scholastic Clay Target Program. After seeing the growth of shooting sports in the state, Representative Ken Skowronski of Franklin introduced a bill to create a firearm education program for high schools.

The bill does not allow live ammunition on school grounds, the classes would focus on history, science and math of firearms to safety tips and mechanics.

Denmark High School senior, Josh Frerk is part of a trap shooting club, he says this would be a course he would take.

"I think it would definitely be beneficial because there are a lot of people that want to shoot in this league but they can’t because they haven't gone through hunter safety or any gun safety courses. This would give them a way to start that," said Frerk.

The Denmark School District offers a trap shooting club for both middle school and high school students, the club has recently completed its second year and is coming up on their third year.

Principal Oran Nehls says the addition of a gun course is not necessary, because the trap club already requires students to take a safety course before being part of the team.

“We have plenty of resources out there for people to become educated in firearm safety, to say that we need to allow it in the classroom, I don't know where we would add it in the classroom or how we would go about adding it in the classroom," said Nehls.

The bill would have the Department of Public Instruction work with other organizations, like the Shooting Sports Foundation to come up with a lesson plan. High schools would not be required to have the curriculum.

"There's no live ammunition and you're teaching them how to be safe, so you're starting slow and slowly working up to where they're handling gun safety," said Frerk.

Representative Skowronski wrote the bill with the help of more than thirty shooting coaches across Wisconsin.

"I find very few students that have not completed some form of hunter safety training where they have that safety certificate already. We would really be catering to at least here at Denmark high school, a smaller population of people," added Nehls.