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§18-2-8a. Hunter safety orientation program.

(a) The Legislature finds that:

(1) Firearms and hunting are important parts of West Virginia's history, culture and economy;

(2) Unfortunately, the use of firearms while hunting or at any other time can be dangerous when the firearms are not handled in a careful and safe manner; and

(3) Therefore, the opportunity of participating in a hunter safety orientation program should be offered to students in certain grades.

(b) The State Board of Education shall, with the advice of the state Superintendent of Schools and the Director of the Division of Natural Resources, promulgate a rule in accordance with the provisions of article three-b, chapter twenty-nine-a of this code for the implementation of a hunter safety orientation program for use in the public schools of this state. The rule shall include at least the following provisions:

(1) The hunter safety orientation program may be offered to students in any of the grade levels sixth through twelfth grades over a two-week period during the school year as part of physical education classes, or as part of the general curriculum offered to students in any of these grade levels, or at the end of the school day;

(2) The hunter safety orientation program is voluntary to students and any student may choose not to participate in the program. If a student chooses not to participate in the program, he or she shall participate in another education activity;

(3) The hunter safety orientation program shall include instruction relating to:

(A) The protection of lives and property against loss or damage as a result of the improper use of firearms; and

(B) The proper use of firearms in hunting, sport competition and the care and safety of firearms in the home;

(4) The hunter safety orientation program may use materials prepared by any national nonprofit membership organization which has as one of its purposes the training of people in marksmanship and the safe handling and use of firearms; and

(5) The hunter safety orientation program shall be conducted by an instructor certified by the Division of Natural Resources or who has other training necessary to conduct the program as determined by the state board.

(c) The county superintendent may implement the hunter safety orientation program in accordance with the rule required by this section in each school in the county that includes any of grades six through twelve at which, in the sole judgement of the superintendent, sufficient student interest in program enrollment justifies the program offering and an appropriately certified instructor is available.

(d) The Division of Natural Resources shall issue a certificate of training, required by section thirty-a, article two, chapter twenty of this code, to any student who completes the hunter safety orientation program.

Note: WV Code updated with legislation passed through the 2017 Regular Session
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