A proposed bill will come before the Wyoming Legislation that could allow Hunter’s Education and Firearm Safety as part of Wyoming’s high school physical education curriculum.
Senate Joint Resolution No. SJ0001 would encourage the Wyoming Game and Fish Commission to work with the Wyoming Department of Education to offer the proposed program.
To hunt in Wyoming, a person born on or after January 1, 1966, must complete a Hunter’s Education course.
The bill is sponsored by Senator Driskill and cosponsored by Senators Baldwin, Dockstader, Hicks, Moniz, and Nethercut as well as Representatives Burlingame, Hunt, Lindholm, and Pownall.
The initiative is not only an opportunity for Wyoming students to receive their Hunter’s Education certification, but it is also a bold and common-sense approach to deliver firearms safety to each student.
The Wyoming Hunter’s Education curriculum also covers laws and regulations, hunter’s ethics, first aid and survival, wildlife identification, proper care of game meat, hunting in grizzly country, as well as firearms safety.
Gun control is a passionately debated conversion at the national level – the idea being regulation of firearms will reduce highly publicized mass shootings around the country.
This proposal focuses on education versus regulation. Educating students on fundamental gun safety procedures such as treating every firearm as though it is loaded, never pointing a firearm at something you do not intend to shoot, and the understanding that a safety is a mechanical device which may fail – in addition having instructors that watch how students handle firearms giving immediate remediation where deemed fit will drastically increase the end result of responsible gun owners and users.
It will also promote hunting in the state of Wyoming with young people, hopefully increasing the number of hunters that annually hunt the state.
The verbiage and contents of the bill are attached.
A JOINT RESOLUTION to urge and request the game and fish commission to work with the state superintendent of public instruction and the state board of education to provide firearm and hunter education as a voluntary physical education elective in public high schools.
WHEREAS, Wyoming law requires a person born after January 1, 1966, to complete a hunter safety course in order to take any wildlife using firearms on land other than that of the person’s family; and
WHEREAS, firearm and hunter education programs teach the state’s youth not only how to hunt but also how to use weapons responsibly and how to respect weapons and their capabilities while attempting to demonstrate that using a firearm is not akin to playing a video game, all of which could reduce the occurrence of severe incidents or mistakes involving a firearm; and
WHEREAS, firearm and hunter programs include instruction in areas such as understanding responsibilities as a sportsperson, understanding hunting ethics, demonstrating the safe handling of firearms, understanding and identifying different types of firearms, ammunition and the correct use of both, practicing safe firearms cleaning and storage in the home, basic principles of wildlife management, conservation and preservation and understanding how hunters can be means for conservation in wildlife management; and
WHEREAS, familiarity with these principles, equipment, and responsibilities can benefit our society overall and may reduce the number of gun-related accidents; and
WHEREAS, several states including Kansas, Iowa and South Carolina have instituted programs whereby students in their middle and high schools may opt to meet their firearm and hunter education obligations through their physical education classes; and
WHEREAS, while these principles and learning experiences are necessary for those people who want to be outdoors hunting, firearm and hunter education classes also provide knowledge and skills that are generally useful across the board and are skills and information that can easily and quickly be relayed through voluntary physical education classes; and
WHEREAS, the game and fish department is currently statutorily tasked with overseeing the firearm and hunter education programs, and partnering with the department of education would allow delivery of training that is consistent with the mission of the game and fish department and would enable the game and fish department to reach out to the next generation of Wyoming sportspersons through programs coordinated throughout the state’s schools.