Bill Banning High School Clay Target Leagues, Archery and Air Rifle Sport Nonsensical

April 27, 2018

Last week, legislation was introduced by a New York City Assembly member that would ban public schools from offering marksmanship, archery or shooting programs in school or as extracurricular activities. The bill, Assembly Bill 10428, also impacts instruction on gun safety classes conducted on school grounds by prohibiting the use of firearms as part of the lesson.

In 2016-17, there were over 30 air-rifle teams as part of the New York State Public High School Athletic Association with over 300 student athletes participating. In addition, many schools are involved with other programs that use firearms such as the NYS High School Clay Target League. According to the NYS High School Clay Target League, there are over 1,149 students from 59 high school teams participating in the 2018 spring season. If this legislation is enacted, these programs would be banned denying students the opportunity to continue to participate in highly competitive, successful programming.

“This legislation is not only unnecessary but is also counterproductive to efforts to lower gun injuries and deaths,” said Barclay. “First, I am unaware of any evidence that links gun violence to these programs and the student athletes in my district who are involved in these teams are great, responsible kids,” said Barclay. “Second, if we want to lower gun injuries and death (as the Sponsor claims she wants to do) it is counterintuitive to take ‘guns’ out of gun safety courses,” added Barclay. “We actually should be doing the opposite and promoting additional teaching and participation in gun safety courses,” said Barclay.