RICHMOND, Va. — Senator Tommy Norment recently filed a bill that proposes that all school divisions in Virginia should offer firearm safety classes for students.
The bill, SB 129, would require the Board of Education to work with the Department of Criminal Justice Services to establish curriculum guidelines for the program.
If the bill were passed and enacted, school boards in the Commonwealth would have to offer a minimum of two hours of firearm safety instruction. The classes must also be taught by a school resource officer, law enforcement officer or a U.S. Armed Forces instructor.
If you're questioning whether students would use real firearms, it might put you at ease to learn that the use of actual guns or weapons would be prohibited in the program.
State law already allows local school boards to create and provide firearm safety education for students in elementary grades. However, the law doesn't specify who may instruct those classes.
The deadline to introduce bills to the General Assembly is a little more than a week after lawmakers convene for the 2020 session. The General Assembly convenes on Wednesday, Jan. 8 and the last day to introduce a bill is on Friday, Jan. 17.
The Commonwealth is in a state of turmoil over a legislative package of gun control bills that are set to be voted on during this next session. Some of these bills propose universal background checks, limiting the number of gun purchases per month and red flag laws.
In a majority-Democratic House and Senate, many expect that most of these bills will be passed.
Many Virginia localities, including Chesapeake, Gloucester County, Mathews County and Isle of Wight have passed Second Amendment sanctuary resolutions to protest these bills, citing that citizens' constitutional gun rights will be threatened.
Governor Northam says these resolutions won't stop him from passing "common sense" gun laws and Attorney General Mark Herring has noted that despite the opposition, any gun control bills that become laws will be enforced.
Author: Yasmeen Freightman, 13News Now