Texas high schools may implement gun education elective in high school

On Friday, Feb. 8, Texas Rep. James White (R-Woodville) and Cecil Bell, Jr. (R-Magnolia) filed HB 1142, a bill that would give school districts the option to provide a high school elective in gun training, maintenance, safety and knowledge of the Second Amendment.
According to HB 1142, the course’s purpose would be to further educate high school students on “the history and importance of the Second Amendment… and to teach respect for and proper use of firearms.”
If implemented, the elective course must include “instruction on the Second Amendment,” “firearm safety,” “training in the use of firearms,” “firearm maintenance and cleaning” and “hunter safety.”
If a school district offers the course, the bill dictates that either a qualified handgun instructor or a locally employed peace officer must teach the class.
White, a former teacher, stated, “I want Texas students to have the option to learn more about both this critical part of our Constitution and the practical knowledge of how to safely operate the common arms Texans use for hunting and self-defense.”
However, Clay Robison, spokesman for the Texas State Teachers Association, told KHOU, Houston’s CBS affiliate, that he disagreed with introducing guns into the school environment. “Even with the safest instructor, accidents happen, and too many times, those accidents involve guns,” Robison said. “Firearms are more dangerous than football.”
White’s authorship is found on a number of other pro-gun rights bills, including a proposition to increase the number of hours required to obtain a concealed handgun license (HB 47). He has also supported a bill to allow concealed carry on college campuses (HB 972) and protection of Texans’ firearm rights from federal regulation (HB 553).
According to the Houston Chronicle, White believes that the “timing of the bill is important because of the national debate on gun regulations.”
White said, “Factions on both sides of the [gun] issue are just screaming at each other. Let’s introduce this from an educational standpoint instead of the hyperbole of the debate of the day.”
HB 1142 is currently under review by the House Public Education Committee.