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New Missouri Law Would Allow First Graders To Take NRA-Sponsored Gun Class

By Esther Yu-Hsi Lee  

"New Missouri Law Would Allow First Graders To Take NRA-Sponsored Gun Class"

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First-graders may soon be able to enroll in a NRA sponsored gun class as a result of a public safety bill signed into law by Missouri Governor Jay Nixon (D) on Friday.

The measure requires school personnel to participate in at least eight hours of an “Active Shooter and Intruder Response Training” program conducted by law enforcement officials and allows schools to apply for financial grants for the NRA’s Eddie Eagle Gunsafe Program.

The NRA claims that the course, which features colorful cartoon character named Eddie Eagle, teaches children about gun safety. But research has failed to link the program to a reduction in children’s deaths from guns, with some studies showing that while “children could memorize Eddie’s simple advice about avoiding guns,” the instruction “went unheeded when children were put in real-life scenarios and asked to role-play a response.” Another report labeled Eddie Eagle “Joe Camel with feathers” and argued that the goal of the program was to recruit new NRA members.

The gun lobby itself has a long record of marketing guns to children and actively works to discredit groups like the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) that want to stop children from encountering guns in the first place. Missouri now joins North Carolina, Texas, and Virginia in providing an endorsement of the NRA program through state laws. Ohio was the first state to fund the Eddie Eagle program.

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