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A new piece of legislation introduced in North Carolina aims to give high school students a little extra learning: firearms education.

House Bill 612, filed this week by Representative Jay Adams, would give the state room to develop a firearms education course and allow the class, which would include “firearms safety education as recommend by law enforcement agencies or a firearms association”, to be offered as an elective to high school students.

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The course, which would be developed by the North Carolina Board of Education, would not allow live ammunition in the classroom and would also cover the history and mechanics of firearms with a firm emphasis on the importance of gun safety.

“I think education, first and foremost, is essential, before actually obtaining a firearm,” Allen Shaw said.

“If they have the opportunity to buy, they should have the opportunity to be educated,” Shaw said. “We’ve got too many people out there right now that are wanting to buy guns that don’t have any background with them.”

“It would be a very beneficial course,” said Tres Cobb.

“Handling, no. Teaching, you know, learning the mechanics, the designs, the many different firearms that there are, there’s nothing wrong with that,” Isiah King said.

Of course, the bill has drawn sharp criticism from individuals who feel the course would encourage students to become shooters… or something.

“I think it would hurt and help. It’s kind of like a catch-22,” said Tanica Wilkerson.

“I don’t even see the point in that,” Jenny Rorie said. “I don’t think they should, there’s enough violence going on without them doing that.”

“I think high school is a little early,” Wilkerson said. “I think some of those kids are not ready for that type of environment, to be exposed to something like that. I don’t feel like they’re mature enough.”

Under federal law, citizens under the age of 21 cannot purchase handguns, however, 18 year-olds can purchase a shotgun or rifle – guns which would be a part of the proposed high school course.

If passed, the course would be available in schools at the start of the 2017-2018 school year.

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