BISMARCK, N.D. - Schools in Iowa and South Dakota will soon offer Hunter Education in school, teaching kids about firearm safety, Hazelton-Moffit-Braddock High school in North Dakota offered a similar course since 1979.
The training guns have been modified so they can't fire, and the ammunition contains no gunpowder. The actions and safeties all work, so kids can get used to safely handling firearms.
"Even if they never hunt, just so that they know if they ever come across a gun they know kind of about the gun and where the safeties are at and how they should handle it and what to look for whether it's loaded or unloaded," said instructor Burns Bailey.
The school says they send a form home with the kids, if a parent signs it their child participates in the five day course and gets the certification. If a parent doesn't sign it their child gets some alternative course work in another room.
"It just benefits all people, all children, to know how to handle firearms whether they are currently around them or not," said Jeni Hardy, hunter.
The school has offered the class for decades, and say that feedback has been great. We talked to a parent that disagreed with the class, they had this to say:
"I don't believe teaching kids to use and handle guns is a good way to combat the violence issue...My hope is that our school takes a good hard look at the issue of gun violence and takes action on growing these children into productive members of society which requires more than safe gun handling," said Angie Schmidt Benz, parent.
The five day course runs during the start of the semester. The 12 kids in the class will be testing soon to earn their certification and then will begin other classes.