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      Poll: First grader gun safety course

      Poll: First grader gun safety course

      Missouri first graders would be required to take a gun safety course in school under a measure a Senate committee considered Tuesday that was introduced one day before the massacre at a Connecticut elementary school.

      Sen. Dan Brown, R-Rolla, told the Senate General Laws Committee Tuesday that his bill was an effort to teach young children what to do if they come across an unsecured weapon.

      Under his bill, the National Rifle Association's Eddie Eagle Gunsafe Program would be taught by a certified instructor in first grade classrooms across the state. The program is already being used in some schools, but it is not a state requirement.

      "I hate mandates as much as anyone, but some concerns and conditions rise to the level of needing a mandate," said Brown.

      Senators watched a brief segment of the training video during the hearing. The segment featured a cartoon eagle telling children to step away from an unsecured gun and immediately report it to an adult.

      Brown filed his legislation Dec. 13, one day before the Connecticut school shooting that killed 26 people including 20 first graders.

      School districts would not be responsible for paying the program's teaching materials because the state qualifies for a National Rifle Association grant. Brown's bill, however, is projected to cost districts over $16 million for teacher training.

      The measure requires teachers to attend eight hours of training on responding to an armed intruder inside a school. The state education department projects that substitute teachers will have to be hired during the days salaried teachers are engaged in the safety training.

      Tonight in the Daily Pulse we're wondering: Would you support legislation requiring first graders to take a gun safety course in school? Yes or no? Why or why not?