Smithville parents concerned over hunter safety students' field - KCTV5 News

Smithville parents concerned over hunter safety students' field trip to shooting range

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Students in a hunter safety class at Smithville High School were at the shooting range Monday.  It’s something the school has offered for years. But now, some parents have concerns about their kids handling firearms. (KCTV5) Students in a hunter safety class at Smithville High School were at the shooting range Monday. It’s something the school has offered for years. But now, some parents have concerns about their kids handling firearms. (KCTV5)
SMITHVILLE, MO (KCTV) -

Students in a hunter safety class at Smithville High School were at the shooting range Monday.

It’s something the school has offered for years. But now, some parents have concerns about kids handling firearms.

One parent says she thinks gun safety can be taught in the classroom, not at a shooting range. Smithville High School says their class allows students to achieve their hunter safety certifications.

“We are working to create hunters who are safe, knowledgeable, responsible and involved in the sport," said Bill Graham with the Missouri Department of Conservation.

Bill Graham was out at the Parma Woods Shooting Range today helping assist the class. He says everyone is very safety conscious. They are required to wear ear and eye protection, and instructors say teaching gun safety is the point of the field trip.

Graham says they’ve taught students across the state for years and how to be safe handling guns.

The Smithville superintendent says they too, have offered this class for years. He says parents did have to sign a form for their kids to be in this class at the beginning of the year. The syllabus explained to parents, that students would be taken to a shooting range.

“This is about people being safe first and foremost in this program, but also basic safety about firearms. This is a program that really makes young people safer around firearms, understanding the safety procedures and how they work," Graham said.

The students sat in a class before heading out to the range this morning. If a student didn’t want to come on the field trip, they were given a different assignment. Students could also come out and not shoot a gun.

“Parents who are concerned, I think, we feel that it is important that people, if they are going to go hunting or encounter a firearm in their life, like at a friends house, or if one shows up somewhere then they have knowledge about safety," Graham said.

The range has staff from the Missouri Department of Conservation and students were supervised by about a dozen adults.

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