Assemblywoman Jenne: School Trap Shooting Teams Provide Students with Important Lessons About Gun Safety
I have been asked by a number of people this week about my view on legislation introduced by one of my colleagues in the New York State Assembly that would prohibit marksmanship programs in public schools.
Earlier this month, I had an opportunity to hand out awards for an essay contest for trap shooting team members in the region sponsored by the Jefferson-Lewis chapter of SCOPES. I talked to the coaches and students and learned about their interest in their sport as well as their understanding of their need to respect their weapons and to store them in a safe location when not in use. Those are important lessons that will remain with these students throughout their lives.
Here is some of the language in the bill (A10428):
No public school shall offer marksmanship and/or shooting programs. For purposes of this section, marksmanship and/or shooting programs shall include any competitive and recreational sporting activities involving proficiency tests of accuracy, precision and speed in using various types of ranged weapons, such as firearms and air guns, in forms such as handguns, rifles and shotguns and/or bows or crossbows.
Here is a statement I have issued on the bill:
"Shooting sports are an important part of our heritage in the North Country. I think it is extremely important to offer training programs that offer gun safety skills for our youth. The coaches on these teams provide out youth how to safely handle and use firearms.
"The coaches and volunteers working with our school shooting teams deserve our support, and I applaud the parents and boosters that support these programs in our communities.
"I clearly do not support this legislation and will be working to educate my colleagues in the Assembly on the benefits of these organized activities.
"These activities are voluntary and provide valuable training for students that should actually make our communities safer, not more dangerous."