In West Virginia, a Hunt for Safety

When most schools are fighting to keep guns off their campuses, one lawmaker wants them in classrooms.

By SHARE

In an era when most schools are fighting to keep guns off their campuses, one West Virginia lawmaker thinks it's time to put them in classrooms. Billy Wayne Bailey, a Democratic state senator, has introduced a bill that would require schools to offer hunting lessons to students interested in taking up the sport.

His latest bill—he's sponsored similar, unsuccessful legislation for the past decade—would allow middle school and high school students in physical education classes to learn how to handle weapons safely. Students would not fire loaded guns, he says. The 10-hour course would also teach wildlife conservation, ATV training, and basic hunting and survival skills. Professionals would offer the training, and parents would need to sign consent forms.

West Virginia's 10-year-olds can already apply for hunting licenses, but Bailey says few young people obtain the licenses because they are "so bogged down with [school] extracurricular" activities.