classroomHB 612 was introduced by North Carolina lawmakers in early April 2017. The bill proposes to implement an elective firearms education program in high schools across the state. If the bill passes, the State Board of Education (BOE) will develop a comprehensive firearm education class.

A firearms safety course for high school students would educate potential future gun owners on proper handling, storage, and safety. The course would be developed with the insight of firearms associations and law enforcement. The bill text highlights multi-disciplinary features of the course, which include instruction on history, mathematics, and science.

The program will be developed as hands-free firearms education. Ammunition will not be permitted.

The bill does not include provisions that mandate schools add the course to their curricula. Schools would have the option of adding the course as an elective. The class would have no pre-requisites, and will not be mandatory for students. If approved, the program could start as early as the academic year starting in the fall of 2017.

Offering firearms education to high school students, who are nearing or past the age of majority, would help cultivate responsible gun ownership.

Currently, individuals age 21 and older may apply for a concealed carry permit. In addition to the pending bill above, proposed gun legislation – the North Carolina Constitutional Carry Act – would remove the permit requirement for concealed carry. It would also expand accessibility of firearms to individuals age 18 and older across the state. Expanding firearms education in high schools would help address a possibly broader access to firearms.

With the potential for a growing number of firearms owners, the need for responsible gun storage, maintenance, and management grows too. North Carolina families expanding with a new generation of gun owners might share firearms with friends and family, whether through hunting or shooting sports. Seek supplemental firearms safety courses in your area, find a secure storage method, and establish a gun trust for managing, sharing, and transferring firearms.

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Schedule a consultation with a gun trust attorney.